MuskogeePhoenix.com, Muskogee, OK

February 6, 2013

Hilldale hopefuls present views

Two running for seat on school board

By Cathy Spaulding
Phoenix Staff Writer

— Candidates for the Hilldale Board of Education say they come into the race with no agendas but to see the district grow and improve.

Derek A. Nunn and Chris Pantle are seeking the board’s Office 3 position. The winner will succeed Jeff Sanders.

Pantle, 46, said he had considered running for the board twice before. This time, he said, he chose to run because “I want to help the school district.”

Nunn, 38, said he had been approached to run.

“I think I can serve responsibly,” he said.

The district’s biggest issue is “coping with growth in light of all the cuts being made in education,” he said.

The Hilldale district attracts lots of students, he said.

“If you don’t have a place to put them, that’s going to be a big issue,” Nunn said, adding that he intends to be an advocate at both the local and state levels.

Pantle said the main issue for the district is a $7.4 million bond election set for March 5.

“That elementary cafeteria still has the tables and seats it had when I was at school there,” he said, citing the school’s growth from 350 when he was a student to the current enrollment of about 900.

Pantle said his main qualifications include the time he spent in the district.

“I understand Hilldale from the bottom up,” he said. “I understand its wants and needs.”

Nunn said his main qualification is his plan to “come prepared to work.”

As for any changes he would make, Nunn said he has no plans. He said Hilldale is on “solid ground.”

“I just want to be able to work with the existing board,” he said. “I don’t want an agenda. I just want the district to grow and progress. We need to have space.”

Pantle said he intends to work with the board to continue current projects.

Reach Cathy Spaulding at (918) 684-2928 or cspaulding@muskogeephoenix.com.

Meet the candidates

Derek A. Nunn

OFFICE SOUGHT: Hilldale Board of Education, Office 3, five-year term.

AGE: 38.

HOMETOWN: Muskogee.

EDUCATION: Bachelor’s degree from Northwestern State University of Louisiana.

PROFESSION: Works for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.

FAMILY: Wife, Greeva; one daughter.

HOBBIES: Being outdoors, golf, pond fishing, church activities.

Chris F. Pantle

OFFICE SOUGHT: Hilldale Board of Education, Office 3, five-year term.

AGE: 46.

HOMETOWN: Muskogee.

EDUCATION: Attended Hilldale Schools, class of 1985.

PROFESSION: Sells equipment for implant and contact lenses.

FAMILY: Wife, Tina; three children.