It was 12 years ago that I first ran for the Vandalia-Butler Board of Education. I will never forget that campaign because I was new to the election process and I was coming in as a “Write In Candidate” because of the lateness of my application and the fact that the deadline for inclusion on the ballet had already passed. A couple friends of mine, Lead Pastor Stan Tharp of CLC and Ms. Mary Kilsheimer, a teacher and a member of a class I taught, came to me and urged me to run based upon my experience in business and the fact that being a person of faith, what better place to serve the community, than on the local school board.
I have always been proud of the district because when I was growing up in the sixties and the early seventies, graduating from Vandalia Butler carried much weight because of its vigorous course of study and its standing in the education community. My father Earl Cupp, in 1935, and my only sibling Debbie Heck, in 1970, first paved the way for me to then be a graduate of Vandalia-Butler in 1972. I have had a very extraordinary and successful life and I am convinced it was because of the foundation of education received from the Vandalia-Butler school system as a starting point in my life and my education.
I did win the write in vote in 2006 and I was elected to a pair of additional terms for a total of 12 years. I tell people Vandalia-Butler gave me 12 great years and I gave them back 12 years of continuous service. Without you the community, voting me in two additional terms, I would not have had the opportunity of serving on the board, trusting me with the lives of your children’s education. I was honored to serve as President of the Board six times, and Vice President two times out of my 12 years in office, a position I did not take lightly. I was able to serve alongside three talented Superintendent’s, Dr. Christy Donnelly, Mr. Brad Neavin and Mr. Robert O’Leary. I also had the opportunity to work with two knowledgeable treasurers, Mr. Dan Schall and Mr. Eric Beavers. I also served with many quality people in administration, fellow board members, teaching and support staff, too numerous to name. I decided not to re-run in 2018, so I could direct all of my time to my family and my health.
I again want to thank you for the opportunity to serve you and the school system. The experience has been a good one and one that I will cherish for years to come. I have made many new friends made up of students, parents, administrators, teachers and support staff as well as people in the community and board members that believe in the value of education and are committed to the success of the Vandalia Butler school system. Again thanks to all and realize what good hands you are in with the election of Ms. Missy Pruszynski, Mr. Kent Zimmerman and Ms. Holly Herbst and the two remaining member’s Mr. Rodney Washburn and Ms. Mary Kilsheimer. I would also like to thank Mr. Darrell Wacker of the Vandalia Drummer for always being honorable and forthright in his reporting of the Vandalia-Butler school system and what he does to weekly report on all of the happenings and things regarding the district.
I have always been taught when you leave something; leave it better than when you started it. With God’s grace, I truly believe it is better today than it has been in many years. That is not because of bricks and mortar, but the dedication of administration, teachers and staff that are not only teachers and role models, but people builders, something they understand very well.
Again many thanks and may God Bless the school system and all of you the stakeholders as well!
Reach Bob Cupp at (937) 415-6682.