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September 21, 2023

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University professor runs for Perrysburg Board of Education

Lara Lengel

A professor at the University is hoping her experience as an educator will land her a seat on the Perrysburg Board of Education in the elections this Tuesday.

Lara Lengel, a professor in the department of communication since 2002, is running for a position in the Perrysburg Exempted Village School District Board of Education.

Lengel, who ran for the same position unsuccessfully in 2011, said one of her goals is to push for a more collaborative, teacher-centered approach to Ohio’s newly state-mandated annual teacher evaluation system.

As a former department chair at the University with experience developing annual merit pay assessment policies for teachers, Lengel said her experience has shown that evaluations require so much work that she is afraid the job will be outsourced and will take away from children’s education resources.

“What disappoints me is that it’s very much a top-down approach whereas what we’ve done more at the University is much more of a faculty-centered collaborative approach to develop this type of annual assessment,” she said.

Lengel believes this gives her a unique trait compared to other candidates.

The main goal is improving student performance, which is why the new annual teacher evaluation system was mandated in the first place, she said.

Lengel said students need to learn more to get into college and as a college professor, she can see specific areas where students could benefit from more field development at the K-12 level.

“I’m mainly running because I’m a parent of three kids currently in the system and one graduate who’s now a student at BGSU,” Lengel said. “It’s really my commitment to children; my own and children in our community, to have the schools continue to be excellent and increase in their excellence.”

Mike Zickar, chair and professor in the psychology department, said Lengel is the most qualified candidate for the position.

“Lara brings a level of dedication to student interests that is unparalleled among people seeking office and she could really use her experience as an educator to help Perrysburg schools,” he said.

LaShae Torres, a 2012 graduate of the University who had Lengel as a professor, said Lengel’s strong leadership skills and concern for students make her a great candidate.

“She really cares about the needs of the students and she’s not afraid to go against the grain if it’s something that needs to be done for the benefit,” Torres said. “I think that will also in return benefit the community as well.”

Torres said Lengel was her greatest mentor in college and helped find a job.

“The experience I got from her class helped me for the real world more than any other class I had,” Torres said. “She helped me apply and helped me work my resume for my internship which in return led to my current job, so I’m really thankful for all the help she’s given and she’s always willing to help if I need her.”

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