Updated: Nine seek appointment to Mehlville school-board seat

Former Mehlville Board of Education members and the chairman of the Mehlville Fire Protection District Board of Directors are among those interested in filling a vacant seat on the school board.

Nine district residents have submitted letters of interest for the seat, from which board member Micheal Ocello resigned in April.

While 10 people submitted letters of interest by the close of the application period Friday, Gary “Brit” Rose, the first person to apply, has since withdrawn his name from consideration.

Rose, who ran unsuccessfully in 2009 for one of two seats on the board, issued a statement saying he “heard through the grapevine” that some candidates were “persuaded” to apply for the vacant seat by current board members.

“So I already know this would be a waste of my time …,” Rose stated. “It is sad that this is a political stunt and should never be. I have decided that this will be my last time for running” for the school board.

The remaining nine applicants, in the order which they applied, are:

• Ken Leach

Leach served one term on the Board of Education, from 2005 until 2008, including one year as board president.

• David Wessel

Wessel vied unsuccessfully for one of three open seats on the Board of Education this year. He was fourth-highest vote-getter out of nine candidates in the April election.

• Michael Gindler

Gindler has served on the district’s Finance Committee since its inception in 2008 and is the committee’s vice president.

• Greg Frigerio

Frigerio is a founding member of the Mehlville Community Taxpayers Association, a group that formed last year to oppose the district’s Proposition C, a proposed 88-cent tax-rate increase that was defeated in the November election.

• Timothy Champion

Champion has been the head women’s soccer coach at St. Louis University for the past 15 years.

• Marea Kluth-Hoppe

Kluth-Hoppe served one term on the Board of Education, from 2002 until 2005, including one year as board secretary. She ran unsuccessfully for the board in 2005, 2008 and last April.

• Fred Padberg

Padberg is a military veteran and is the founder and president of Padberg Graphic Design Studio. He also is the president of Padberg Properties of St. Louis.

• Aaron Hilmer

Hilmer is the chairman of the MFPD Board of Directors. He was elected to the board in 2005 and was re-elected to a second six-year term in April.

• Ronald Fedorchak

Fedorchak recently served on a committee led by Assistant Superintendent-Curriculum Connie Hurst-Bayless on the future of the district’s Strings program.

Whoever fills the board vacancy will serve until April 2012, when the seat will be up for election for a three-year term.

The school board is scheduled to meet at 10 a.m. Saturday, June 11, at the Administration Building, 3120 Lemay Ferry Road, to discuss the applications.

Read more about the 10 board applicants in next week’s Call.