Two run for Tecumseh School Board unopposed to serve new six-year terms
The following candidate profiles are based on Tecumseh Herald questionnaires sent to both candidates for the Tecumseh School Board who are up for election for two seats on the board in the Tuesday, Nov. 6, general election. The term for the office is six years.
Roger Hart is a resident of Tecumseh for nearly 30 years and the executive editor of the Autoweek magazine based in Detroit. He and his wife, Lisa, have been married for 32 years and are the parents of Sarah, a student at Michigan State University and a graduate of Tecumseh High School, and Anneka, who is a junior at THS.
He graduated with a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Central Michigan University in 1980 and worked as a photographer for the Tuscola County Advertiser in Caro, Mich., for two years before moving to Ann Arbor and taking a freelance photographer job with the national news organization Associated Press. Following that, he worked as a sports editor for the Observer & Eccentric chain of newspapers in suburban Detroit.
In 1982, he started as a photographer for The Adrian Daily Telegram where he was promoted to assistant managing editor and then to editor of the newspaper. After 17 years at the Telegram, Hart left to assume the position of managing editor of Autoweek, where he has covered the international auto industry. Along the way, he authored the book Postcards from Detroit, Remembering Formula One in the Motor City in 2006.
Hart is a member of St. Elizabeth Catholic Church in Tecumseh and has served on many local councils and boards including the St. Joseph Academy Montessori Children’s House Council.
There were several important issues facing the St. Joseph Council at that time, Hart said in his response for this candidate summary, including a search for a new principal for the school, building a new middle school, and the continuing issue of raising tuition for St. Joseph, which was a private school.
“This experience will help me in working with the Tecumseh School Board,” Hart said. “My business experience has taken me to various parts of the world. It’s evident we are in a competitive world where education is a key to our success, both as a community and as a country.”
Among his top concerns for the school district in the near future is finding a new superintendent. “This is by far the most important job any school board undertakes,” he said. “Finding the right person to fit the school system and the community, while continuing to move the schools forward, is crucial to the school system.”
A second priority that Hart mentioned is to improve cooperation between the schools and the community. “Having a vibrant, viable school system attracts people and families to the community and becomes a revenue generator,” he said. “The goals of the community and the schools should be in sync.”
Another issue that he lists as a linchpin of enhancing education is better communication among students, parents, and the community to keep the school board’s operation as transparent as possible.
“In summation,” Hart said, “I decided to run for office not because I had an ax to grind or any special interest to represent, but rather out of a sense of public service and wanting to give back to the community. I believe Tecumseh Public Schools does a terrific job in educating the community‘s children, and I want to see that continue and get even better in the future.”
Greg Johnson has been a resident of Tecumseh for 29 years. He grew up in Dearborn Heights, Mich., before his family moved to Tecumseh in 1983, when he was in the eighth grade.
He has been married for 19 years to Kimberly, and the couple has one daughter, Madison, a junior at Tecumseh High School. He is the owner of Legacy Metal Design, LLC, which produces CNC plasma-cut parts for manufacturers and art projects and is also employed in the family business ididit, inc., as the CNC coordinator. Formerly, he worked for Ford Motor Company for 12 ½ years as a machine repairman but took a buyout in 2008 to dedicate more time to his own businesses.
Johnson graduated from Tecumseh High School in 1988 and attended Lenawee Intermediate School District Vo-Tech during his junior and senior years at THS studying auto mechanics and worked as an automotive technician for four years following graduation. He also attended Washtenaw Community College and holds a journeyman’s card as a machine repair specialist.
Johnson has been active in the Tecumseh Public School system working with the first THS robotics team since its inception more than two years ago, besides involvement in the Committee for the Advisement and Advancement of Responsible Education (CAARE) since its founding.
In his spare time, he enjoys traveling and spending time with his family.
Among his priorities for the future of TPS during his tenure, Johnson cites an interest in assuring that students have the opportunity to be trained in the highly technical fields that are in demand in the manufacturing sector of the economy.
“Like myself, not all kids are destined to attend college right out of high school,” he said. “Because of this, those kids need to have positive paths to choose after high school. Tecumseh needs a basic hands-on shop class to prepare students for jobs that require basic technical knowledge that could lead into a good-paying career.
“A hands-on shop class would allow students to explore the career possibilities of engineering and technical jobs before making the commitment to go to the LISD TECH Center during their junior and senior years.
“With the need for a new superintendent, this is an important year for Tecumseh schools. I believe that we need a superintendent who is a good communicator, supportive of new technologies, and someone who can form a transparent relationship with the general public.”