Koontz to run for school board again

Richard Koontz

Shenandoah County School Board Chairman Rick Koontz plans to seek a fourth term.

Koontz struggled since earlier this year over whether or not to run for re-election, he said Friday. Now he’s collecting signatures to seek another four-year term.

Koontz likely will run against retired certified public accountant Barbara Bliss and veteran educator Joanie Hovatter.

Koontz, 57, joined the School Board in 2004 and has served as its chairman for the past six years.

“I’m pretty committed to what I do there on the School Board and that’s the reason I was struggling as far as not running,” Koontz said. “I enjoy being on the board. We have a good board; good, cohesive board. We work together very well.”

Koontz said he did not want to seek another term initially, given that his youngest child is about to graduate from high school. But Koontz also has four grandchildren in county schools, so he said he expects to remain involved with the system.

“It’s become a part of what I do,” Koontz said. “It’s hard for me to walk away, I’ll be honest with you.”

People in the community also encouraged him to consider running again, Koontz said.

Koontz added, “A lot of good things are happening in the school system and, because we have a good board, we’re up against a lot of challenges at times with the budget we have to work with … I think we do well with what we have to work with.”

Koontz serves as vice president of Holtzman Oil Corp., having worked for the company since his teens in the early 1970s. Koontz also took two years of business school at Triplett Tech. Koontz noted that the panel benefits from having members with a mix of business and educational backgrounds.

Contact staff writer Alex Bridges at 540-465-5137 ext. 125, or abridges@nvdaily.com