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  • Writer's pictureBill Raines

Krystal A. Shelter Candidate Seeking Mitchell School Board Seat

Mitchell resident Krystal A. Shetler is seeking election to the Mitchell School Board.

Krystal A. Shetler

Two seats are up for grabs in the race to represent Marion 2 on the Mitchell School Board -- seats that are voted on by every registered voter in the Mitchell School District.

Krystal is running because she wants to bring fresh ideas to the school board while representing the best interests of parents, teachers, students and staff members.

"I don't have an agenda, outside of loving the Mitchell community and its schools," Krystal said. "I want to see our schools and our community thrive. New ideas and a different perspective can create new opportunities." Krystal is running with a plan, based on five pillars: School safety, transparency, supporting students, staff and teachers, a two-term pledge and to be a voice for parents. But these pillars are not where her ideas end. More than anything, she wants to see Mitchell Community Schools offer as many opportunities as possible to serve all of its students. "We have to meet our students where they are at," Krystal said. "Some of our children will go to college, so we must prepare them for that. Some of our students will seek a trade route, so we have to provide opportunities for them to explore that, and some of our kiddos will enter the workforce directly out of high school, so we need to be make them workforce ready. Not all of our children are athletes, so it's important to provide expanded extra-curricular options and clubs to allow each child to grow within his or her interests." A mother of four sons, Krystal learned early on that not all children learn the same, nor do they have the same interests. Two of her sons have graduated from Mitchell High School. Each of those young men struggled with various subjects; one had learning disabilities that made traditional classroom work a challenge. She has one son at Mitchell Junior High School and another enrolled at Mitchell High School. Both are on academic tracks, but she has learned the importance of making sure the needs of all students and all learners are met individually. "I have four sons. Not a single one of them has presented themselves to anything close to the same when it comes to school," Krystal said. "I have sons who live for sports and competed in athletic endeavors. I have an artist. I have a kid who lives for robotics and engineering. I have a trade school kid. I have a community college graduate. I have a high ability kid. I have an academic honors kid. And, I have a kid who was diagnosed with special educational needs who carried a medical diagnosis, a 504 and an Individualized Education Plan. "That’s why I am so passionate about opportunities for all when it comes to our school system. I support special needs inclusion because it leads to acceptance, empathy and tolerance. I love athletics, but I see the value in a wide variety of extracurricular activities because my children taught me that basketball, football, volleyball and baseball aren’t for everyone. We need to provide support for all clubs and activities, and create a culture that celebrates school spirit in all endeavors. "I would support any chance to expand educational opportunities for every child, from special needs students to high ability students. My high ability kid needs extraordinary support, as did my son who fought hard for every grade and in every subject on his journey through MCS. "We live in a world where opportunity exists, but for some children, it's hard-fought because they lack the support to uncover it. We, as a community and as a school system, need to ensure the path to success is expanded to include opportunities for every single young person." Sadly, however, Krystal recognizes that we live in a society where safety must be a high priority for our students and staff members. She wants more school resource officers within our buildings, added camera technology and a plan that involves parents, so we know what to do if there is an emergency situation within our schools. "Right now, most schools, including Mitchell, are behind the curve because we’re reacting instead of being proactive," she said. "Each time there is a school shooting in the United States, we make a change. "But it’s not enough. "I recognize there are always going to be vulnerabilities, but we need to do everything within our power to eliminate every possible chance for evil to reach our precious children. "Mitchell has one school resource officer. Sgt. Rob German is amazing. He’s a fantastic police officer, and the students love him. I’ve seen his police work first-hand when I worked at the Lawrence County Prosecutor’s Office, and I can tell you he’s a benefit to MCS. "I am a fiscal conservative, but the safety of our children and staff members is non-negotiable. It’s fundamental in today’s society that we take every possible step to protect the lives within our buildings." Krystal encourages those who would like additional information on her platform to reach out to her in-person and/or follow her Facebook page: Krystal Shetler for Mitchell School Board. About Krystal Krystal is married to Henry, and they have four sons: Jacob, Lucas, Alex and Emery. She is a 1999 graduate of Indiana University Southeast with a degree in journalism and minor in sociology. She spent 25 years as a reporter and editor at the Bedford Times-Mail, but currently serves as the marketing and business development representative for SERVPRO of Bloomington and SERVPRO of Lawrence, Owen, Greene and Martin Counties. Krystal has been a longtime advocate and community volunteer, focusing most of her volunteer endeavors on the Mitchell community. She chaired the Persimmon Festival in 2010, and currently serves on the committee that is planning the 75th Persimmon Festival. She spent nine years on the board for the Greater Mitchell Chamber of Commerce, including a stint as president. One of her most passionate roles is serving as a Court-Appointed Special Advocate in Lawrence County. Through this role, Krystal advocates for children who are in the court system at no fault of their own, mostly because of abuse or neglect. She has taught children's church for a number of years and currently attends Sherwood Oaks Christian Church in Bedford. She has served on the Burris Elementary School Improvement Team and volunteered as the classroom chair a couple of times as her sons went through elementary school. She is currently involved with the Bluejackets Robotics Booster Club, and just an overall Bluejacket fan!

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