3 vie for 2 seats on Niles board of education
By By BEN RAYMOND LODE / Niles Daily Star
NILES -- Three candidates are running for two seats on the Niles Community Schools Board of Education.
The election is Monday, June 9.
Two of the school board candidates are incumbents and one candidate is a challenger.
Incumbent James M. Grannell has served on the school board for eight years. Incumbent John R. Mattix Jr. has served on the school board for two years.
Dana D. Daniels, the challenger was an unsuccessful candidate during the last school board election.
Voting takes place at Niles Senior High School, West Side School and Howard School on Monday from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
Grannell, a Niles orthopedic surgeon, was school board president in 2000-2001.
In the long term, Grannell said it's important to continue encouraging parents to advise their children to take advanced classes at school that will prepare them for further studies.
Grannell earned his bachelor's and medical degrees from Michigan State University.
He has four children -- three are Niles High School graduates; one is still a student in the district.
Daniels, the challenger, is a product development director at FiServ Mortgage Production, in South Bend, Ind.
He graduated from Niles High School in 1974 and has a bachelor's degree in science from Western Michigan University.
Daniels also served on the school district's Strategic Planning Committee.
In addition, Daniels has been active in the Howard-Ellis Parent Teacher Organization.
If elected, Daniels said he will be dedicated to follow up on the strategic plan.
Daniels, however, thinks alternative funding is the single most important issue for the school district in the future.
Daniels has one daughter attending Niles Community Schools.
Incumbent John R Mattix, a personnel director with the Leco Group in St. Joseph, has served two years on the Niles school board and is the current secretary.
He has a bachelor's degree in Business and Psychology and done graduate work in Human Resources from Western Michigan University.
A human resource manager for 25 years with experience in managing administrative contracts, benefit programs and employee relationship programs, Mattix said the key issue for him is to ensure the budget is used for the educational welfare of the students.
He also said it's important to make sure funds are used to provide quality education for the students in the district.
As a human resource manager, however, Mattix sees a rapid increase in health insurance costs as a big concern for the school district.
According to Niles Community Schools, precinct seven, which is Howard Township and Pokagon, should vote at Howard Schools.
Precinct four, which is west of the St. Joseph River, should vote at West Side Schools.
Precinct one, which is east of the river, should vote at Niles Senior High School.