Ellis, Antilla, Wheelihan looking to secure six-year terms on school board

CAPAC — Next month voters will decide what two candidates should earn terms on the Capac School Board.

In the running are John Antilla, Bill Ellis and Beverly Wheelihan. Ellis is an incumbent and and currently serves as board president. Current member Barry Geliske opted to not seek re-election.

The top two vote-getters will each secure six year terms on the board.

• • • • •

Bill Ellis is a Capac alumni and parent of seven Capac grads. He currently serves as president of the board. Among his decades of service on the board, Ellis has held each of the board’s other offices.

“I believe given the diversity of our community, it is important to recognize the needs and wants of all parents, community members, staff and students to provide each of our students with the best possible education,” Ellis said of his desire to continue serving on the board.

If re-elected, he wants to support student programming that’s been successful and explore new opportunities, particularly in the realm of advanced online classes paired with hands-on technical training.

“During recent times, I along with the present board have endeavored to support online remote classes along with conventional classroom education. We were the first in the county to open our schools this year and I believe have offered parents the most flexibility in choosing which platform works best for their family,” Ellis said.
In a new term he also wants to uphold open lines of communication at both a personal and board level.

“I embrace the use of technology such as on-line board meetings, electronic posting of budgets and posting of my personal phone numbers and email address on the school’s website,” he said.

“I look forward to being a responsible, ethical role model for our community for this office.”

• • • • •

John Antilla is a parent and volunteer within the Capac district. He’s had three children graduate and his youngest son, Noah, is currently a 10th grader at Capac. He gives of his time as a coach and mentor for the high school’s robotics team, Metal & Soul, and serves as co-coach for the Middle School level FIRST Lego League robotics teams, Bots with Soul and More Bots with Soul. Together with his wife, Janet, Antilla offers robotics programming at Capac for all grades K-12.

He says he decided to become a board candidate because he wants voters to have a choice. Additionally, Antilla believes his past experience is an asset.

“I’ve been a board member in the past and understand the role a board member plays in the educational system. I’m two classes short of becoming a Certified Board Member,” he said.

Another of his motivations is a lifelong commitment to learning. “I have a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering and a Master’s in Business Administration, and 28 years of work experience,” Antilla said.

If elected, his priorities as a board member would include maintaining and updating school board policies to make them consistent with both state and federal statutes, but also specific for the local community and district.

Antilla would also advocate for continuous improvement in education at Capac, including the re-introduction of civics into the curriculum.

“I think it’s important to balance the needs of the students, parents, teachers, administrators, staff, and taxpayers in the school district. This includes balancing the budget, ensuring the curriculum, and advocating on behalf of schools in Lansing,” he concluded.

• • • • •

Beverly Wheelihan is a mom to two Capac students, Aiden and Sophia, who both attend Capac Jr./Sr. High School. Additionally, she served as a co-coach for her son’s robotics team during his 4th and 5th grade school year.

“I am seeking this seat as I firmly believe that I can provide additional perspective to add to the board as I feel that I can weigh in on the current challenges faced in the district from not only a fiscal standpoint but also from a parent’s perspective as my children currently attend,” she said.

“In addition as a business owner in the community, this allows me further opportunities to be involved within the community that I work and live.

If elected, Wheelihan said her priorities in office would be to engage and expand student involvement in the community.

She would also like to see student programming expanded to make offerings like Advanced Placement and Middle College available to students of all academic levels.

“It’s important to me that we align funding and resources to advance technology, facilities and student supports with the understanding that all school districts continue to face fiscal hurdles,” Wheelihan said.