WCCS REVIEWS CANDIDATES: Final decision to fill board vacancy will be made Aug. 18

COLUMBIA CITY — Whitley County Consolidated Schools board members had the opportunity to meet the candidates aspiring to fill a vacant seat at their meeting Monday.The board position opened up after former member, Chris Bechtold, resigned due to his new position as a teacher within the district. The newly-appointed board member will be voted in at the next WCCS board meeting, and will finish out Bechtold’s term — through Dec. 31, 2014.Dan Curless and Leslee Derbeck had open interviews with the school board, Superintendent Pat O’Connor and Business Manager Tony Zickgraf at Monday’s regular session.The candidates, who differ in both age and experience, voiced the same opinion toward the position — whoever fills the spot needs to put students first — a statement that impressed the board.“We really care about the kids,” WCCS Board President Don Armstrong said. “That’s what you both said in your interviews, and I’m impressed with that. We’re fortunate to have two good candidates for this position.”Both Curless and Derbeck are Columbia City High School graduates. Derbeck graduated in 1996. Curless, along with graduating from WCCS schools, spent 39.5 years working for the district as both a teacher and administrator. In fact, Derbeck was one of Curless’ students.To read the rest of this story, see the Aug. 7 issue of The Post and Mail. Don't have a subscription? Call (260) 244-5153 or subscribe to our e-edition. For breaking news, sports updates and additional coverage, bookmark the homepage and find us on facebook and twitter.