TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTWO/WAWV) – The Vigo County School Board election has a high amount of interest with 14 candidates running for four spots.
3 of the 4 districts at large do not have an incumbent running. This means the school board will welcome at least three new faces. District 5 is the district with the lone incumbent running.
These candidates will play a strong role in your child’s educational future making this one of the most important tickets on Vigo County ballots.
One quality that community members are looking for from this position is the ability to listen. Vigo County resident Leah Myers said that school board members should listen to the voices of those that they serve.
“You need to be able to show that you’re interested in what the community has to say,” Myers said. “It’s something that we’re going to pay attention to.”
Myers pointed out the decision that the board made earlier this year to close Meadows Elementary School in a 5 to 2 vote. Rosemarie Scott and Joni Wise were the two who opposed. She referred to instances where parents wanted specific data as to why Meadows was selected for consolidation, but this was not given by the board.
Vigo County resident Steve Ellis shared a similar thought in regards to listening. He said that he’d like to see more transparency shown when big decisions are being made.
“If school board members spend a little more time going to the public and listening to their concerns, I believe that will create a tighter bond between the public and the school board,” Ellis said.
In May, a $261 million referendum to fix the three Vigo County high schools failed. Ellis was in vocal opposition of the referendum, but did acknowledge the need for improved high schools. He said that there’s still time for the school board and the community to fix its relationship and build trust.
“I believe the school corporation, the school board and the public can and will work together at some point going forward,” Ellis explained. “I don’t believe that we’ve reached the point where we’re at odds.”
A quality that Myers said is important for school board members is to know their role in the process of making decisions. Doing one’s research and looking into certain matters before voting on them is vital.
“The mission of the school board is to oversee the administration and the superintendent, not the other way around,” Myers said.
Many big ticket races will be on Vigo County ballots in the fall. Ellis stressed the importance to not overlook those who are in charge of your child’s educational future.
“They are basically the path to growing our community and we have to take it serious,” Ellis said. “They’re going to be the ones that are going to be allocating literally hundreds of millions of dollars and how to spend that.”
Election Day is on November 8th.