John W. Halkias one of three incumbent candidates looking to be reelected to a seat on the Plain Local School Board of Education.
Halkias is a lifelong resident of Stark County, born and raised in Canton, and attended both Lincoln and McKinley Senior High School.
He and his wife Amy have lived in the Plain Local School District since they were married in 1986, buying their first home in Canton before building a home in North Canton in 1997.
Their son is a 2005 GlenOak graduate and a graduate of Youngstown State University and the NEOMED BS/MD program and currently, lives in Columbus pursuing research with his MD degree.
Their daughter is currently a Senior at GlenOak High School.
Halkias has an undergraduate degree and Law degree from the University of Akron, and is licensed to practice Law in Ohio but, does not currently practice. He also spent 39 years working for Fishers Foods, through High School, undergraduate, and Law School. He explained he worked his way through several positions including Vice President of Human Resources, before leaving in 2015 to take his current position, Administrator of the Health Care and Pension Funds, which covers over 16,000 unionized grocery store and drug store employees in NE Ohio for the UFCW Local 880 Union-Employer Benefit Funds.
He added his experience serving on numerous boards, including the Stark County Urban League, Jobs for Ohio’s Graduates of Stark County, and the Stark-Wayne Workforce Investment Board. He has also been a member of the Plain Local School Board of Education since 1999 when he was first appointed following the unexpected passing of another board member.
Halkias also noted he is an avid photographer, and cyclist, and has picked up running the last few years, completing his first half marathon in the Football HOF marathon series in 2017.
Also, this year, Halkias was nominated to be President-Elect of OSBA, the Ohio School Boards Association, the state association of over 3,000 public school board members.
“If re-elected, my confirmation will be at our delegate assembly next week in Columbus at our annual conference,” explained Halkias. “I will then be President of the Association in 2019, the first Board Member from Stark County to serve in that capacity. I have previously been President of the Northeast region, and have been a member of OSBA’s Federal Relations Network, lobbying on the Federal Level for public education since 2003.”
“I have always been an advocate of public education, and I consider my service on the Board of Education my service to my community. I have always considered myself a voice for those who have no voice at the polls – our children who cannot vote,” added Halkias.
Halkias detailed a plan that focuses on keeping the district on the same course it’s been on for years while making the district every family’s first choice for educating their children.
“I hope to further advocate for public education and erase the negative stigma that some of our public and many of our legislators have of our public schools. We do more for our children at a lower cost than many of our similar districts across the state, and many districts could learn from our positive results,” said Halkias.
He went on to stress a focus of advocating for members of the board of education, administrators, teachers and classified staff in the district.
“[They] all work hard to make sure that every child has the opportunity to reach their full potential. I hope to bring more fresh ideas to our district and work with the great team we have as I learn more about what other places across our state are doing to make their schools better. I also hope to reinforce and further the idea that all of us in the Plain Local School district are of service to the public and our community, and continue what we have done with the public library, partnering to make our district a resource for all of our residents, not just our students.”
Halkias added he and his family have always valued education.
“My mother was an immigrant to this country as were my paternal grandparents, and I was taught from an early age that the greatest gift America gave to its children was a free public education. I have been honored to serve the residents of my school district since 1999, and I hope to continue to serve them and their children into the future, maintaining the strong academic traditions of Plain Local Schools.”
Michaela Madison Reporting
Kristen Donohue Guardado – Did not return a message seeking comment.
Dr. Ambrose Perduk Jr. – Dod not return a message seeking comment.