2022 Indiana General Election Candidate Profiles

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Candidates on the ballot for the November 8, 2022 General Election. To find your polling location and view your ballot visit indianavoters.in.gov. The following is a list of candidates running in areas covered by Current Publishing:

Indiana's 5th Congressional District

Indiana State Government Races

State Senator District 21

Incumbent Republican State Sen. Jim Buck is facing a challenge from Westfield attorney Josh Lowry for his District 21 seat. Buck did not respond to a request to complete Current’s questionnaire.

  • Sen. Jim Buck did not respond. 
  • Josh Lowry

    Education: B.S. in exercise science from IU; J.D. from IU Robert H. McKinney School of Law

    Occupation: Attorney

    City: Westfield 

    Age: 37

    Lived in district: 13 years

    Immediate family: Wife – Alexis; children – Ania, Lucy, Dominic, Eryn; Pets – Olllie, Oscar, Max, Floyd, Odell, Mango

    Previous political experience: None. It’s time for new leaders focused on solving today’s problems and planning for our future. 

    Website: lowryforindiana.com

    Why do you want to run for office?

    I want District 21 to have a state senator that listens to them and doesn’t put his personal views over the rights of Hoosiers. 

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    My wife and I have fostered 11 children and adopted four. Also, I am a litigator who has practiced constitutional law. 

    What are your top three campaign issues? 

    1. Women’s rights. I think a woman should make her own healthcare decisions – a state senator shouldn’t be able to tell her what to do. 
    2. Fully-funding our schools. Our teachers are underpaid and our schools lack critical resources. Why are we bragging about our $6 billion surplus when our schools need help? 
    3. Growing more high-paying jobs. Under the Republican supermajority, unions have been attacked and we bled high-paying jobs in exchange for lower-paying jobs. That was intentional, and the exact goal of organizations like ALEC (of which Sen. Buck was the chairman). We need to attract and grow higher-paying jobs in industries of the future. 

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

    My dedication to improving the lives of children. I am running for state senate for the same reason my wife and I became foster parents and will continue to foster. 

    Additionally, I am an experienced litigator who has practiced constitutional law. I am able to understand the practical effects of a proposed law and will know whether the proposed law can stand up to a legal challenge. 

    What other organizations are you involved with?

    Southern District of Indiana’s Pro Bono Voluntary Panel; Interact Family Services, Westfield Youth Sports (WYSI), and Westfield Democrats Club.   

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    I’ve always been an athlete. Growing up it was football, basketball and track. Prior to law school, I chased my boyhood dream and spent a year as a professional wrestler. I still play recreational soccer and compete in bodybuilding shows. 

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I can’t stand bullies. Even when I was growing up and was the middle linebacker, my mom instilled in me to be the person standing up to bullies, not to be the bully.

State Senator District 29

Incumbent J.D. Ford, a Democrat, is facing a challenge from Alex Choi, a Republican on the Zionsville Town Council, in the race for State Senate District 29.

  • Alex Choi

    Education: Lawrence North High School; B.A. in history – Harvard University; M.S. in biology – IUPUI; M.S. in physiology – IU School of Medicine; M.D. – IU School of Medicine; MPH – IU Fairbanks School of Public Health

    Occupation: Practicing anesthesiologist and Physician Leader of Community Medicine Anesthesia at Indiana University Health Physicians

    Age: 52

    City: Zionsville 

    Immediate family: Jennifer Choi, M.D. (wife); Sadie Choi (daughter, age 14); Spencer Choi (son, age 13)

    Previous political experience: Zionsville Town Council, at-large member

    Website: VoteAlexChoi.com

    Why do you want to run for office? 

    My family immigrated from South Korea when I was 7 years old. I grew up in Noblesville and returned to Indiana after college and went to medical school here. I have been very blessed as an immigrant to have been able to build a great career and achieve the American Dream. Over the past 10 years I found myself at the statehouse regularly advocating for health care, patient and physician issues. As I reflected on what the next steps in my life would be, I realized that I wanted to give back to my community and state that has been so supportive of me. 

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    I have a clinical background being a practicing anesthesiologist and also a policy background with my master’s in public health. I understand health care issues from not only the clinical side but also the business side. I have held various committee appointments and leadership positions at state and national organizations. I also have an education background through being on the board of directors for an inner-city Indianapolis publicly funded charter school. Also impactful will be the knowledge that I have gained on municipal issues by being on the Zionsville Town Council. Finally, not that it is a qualification for office, but it does speak to the growing diversity in the state; I will be the only Asian-American in the state legislature.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    1. Health care: Indiana is one of the unhealthiest states in the country and ranks in the bottom 10 in almost all health metrics. This has led to higher utilization and therefore higher costs. 
    2. Education: As we strengthen our public school system, we need to also provide for the ability of parents to make choices for their children’s education. We need to continue to promote strong pre-K-12, where Indiana ranks ninin the nation. This will lead to better attainment of college education and trade school education, both of which are important to our state. 
    3. Economic development: In the current national state of increasing inflation, Indiana continues to be a model state for attracting and growing businesses. I am well versed in assisting in the legislature to promote job creation through creating a welcoming business environment. 

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office? 

    As someone who has an extensive background in health care and business, I have very deep real-world experiences in a variety of areas that are important to the success of Hoosiers and the state. Not only that, my career involved running a $60 million business and negotiating successful contracts with insurance companies and hospitals. Some may talk about reaching across the aisle to work with others, but I have actually done it through very difficult negotiations.

    How long have you lived in your district? 

    I lived in Pike Township for nine years and now in Zionsville for 17 years.

    What other organizations are you involved with? 

    I am in the leadership of the following organizations: American Society of Anesthesiologists, Indiana Society of Anesthesiologists, Indiana State Medical Association, Indiana Healthcare Executive Network, Boone County Racial Diversity Council, Zionsville Alliance for Mental Wellness and the Board of United Schools of Indianapolis.

    Something most people don’t know about you? 

    I collect unique sci-fi and other movie memorabilia.

    Something you want people to know about you? 

    I love and value my family. I still have date nights with my wife most Friday evenings. I make it to almost all of my teenage children’s sporting events and orchestra concerts and, most importantly, we all put our phones away in the car and at dinner so that we have conversations with each other. They are my rock, and I couldn’t do any of this without them.

  • J.D. Ford

    Education: B.A. University of Akron, M.A. Purdue University Northwest (Calumet)

    Occupation: Indiana State Senator District 29

    Age: 39

    City: Indianapolis

    Previous political experience: Ran for State Senate, 2014; elected to State Senate, 2018 

    Website: senatorjdford.com

    Why do you want to run for office? 

    I am running for four more years so I can continue reaching across the aisle to give Hoosiers a fair shake by investing in public education, lowering the cost of healthcare and building a better Indiana for all of us.

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    As the incumbent state senator, I have four years of experience navigating the legislative process, from the technical hurdles of the Legislative Services Agency to the idiosyncrasies of the Conference Committee process. There is a lot to learn when you’re a new legislator, and a fast-growing district like ours needs someone who doesn’t need any on-the-job training. Also, I campaigned on the promise of continuing to knock doors and stay active in the district even in non-election years, and I’ve kept that 2018 promise.

    What are your top three campaign issues?

    1. Education, fully funding our public schools, since Senate District 29 has some of the best schools in the state.
    2. Gun reform, especially after seeing so many tragic school shootings, like in Uvalde.
    3. Healthcare, making sure all Hoosiers have access to the care they need, regardless of income, protecting a woman’s right to choose and lowering our already tragic maternal mortality rates.

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office? 

    My constituent services are second to none. I take my role as your senator very seriously. Ever since my election, I have made a point to answer every email, every call and do everything in my power to help my constituents when they are in need. As one of the few members of the Indiana Senate who is not independently wealthy, I am a full-time legislator and I dedicate my full attention to the people of the district, which allows me the time and flexibility to really meet with people, business owners and community stakeholders to better understand the issues.

    How long have you lived in your district? 

    Eleven years

    What other organizations are you involved with? 

    I am a former board member of AYC inc. and a current board member of Constructing Our Future.

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    I participated in the 2020 Polar Plunge, a charity event where participants like myself took a dip in the frigid waters of Eagle Creek Reservoir, all to benefit the Special Olympics.

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I am always available through either my Statehouse office or on the campaign trail. I can’t wait to meet you all and I look forward to serving you for another four years.

State Senator District 31

Senate District 31 is a highly contested race that covers parts of Fishers and Lawrence. The incumbent, Republican, Kyle Walker, has been serving District 31 since 2020. His opponent, Jocelyn Vare, became the first Democrat elected to the Fishers City council in 2019. 

  • Kyle Walker

    Age: 45

    Education: B.S., Business Management, Indiana Wesleyan University

    Occupation: Executive VP, MO Strategies

    City of residence: Lawrence

    Immediate family: Wife, Jennifer. Sons, Chase and Cameron

    Previous political experience: City of Lawrence Council, 2004-2008

    Website or best way for voters to reach you: WalkerForIndiana.com

    Why do you want to run for office?

    I’m running to help strengthen our economy, bring more, good-paying jobs to our region, keep taxes low, reduce the cost of living, increase public safety, support our public schools and improve the quality of life for all residents in the district. As senator, I’ve listened closely to residents and my votes reflect the majority of residents’ views. I’m dedicated to making a difference and being the most effective voice for residents, families and businesses here.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    As a small business owner, I understand what it takes to start and grow a business. I’m passionate about fostering entrepreneurship, encouraging innovation, and making it easier for businesses to grow and thrive. I also have past experience in local government working to improve infrastructure, drive investment and strengthen our cities. As senator, I authored several successful pieces of legislation that will increase public safety and strengthen economic development and job growth in our region. 

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    I’m focused on delivering common sense leadership for our district. I will continue to support fiscally responsible policies, balanced state budgets and low taxes. I’m also focused on accelerating economic development and bringing high-paying jobs of the future to our district. Additionally, I’ve led and will continue to lead efforts to strengthen public safety, support and appropriately fund our public schools and improve quality of life in our communities.

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

    I have a proven record of passing legislation in the Senate and delivering results for our district. I authored the second most bills that passed in 2022. I’ve led successful efforts to reduce crime, support law enforcement and first responders, and attract investment and development to our region. I’ve also effectively secured funding for programs important to the success of our community, including the IoT Lab in Fishers which is accelerating local entrepreneurship. 

    How long have you lived in your district?

    I’ve lived in what I know to be the past or current boundaries of the district my entire life except when I was away for college.

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I take my responsibility of representing people seriously. I listen to residents then I lead and vote to represent the views of the district. I focus on issues that matter most to people and on actions I can take to make a difference in peoples’ lives. I strive to be a commonsense leader and the most effective voice for our suburban district. I will always prioritize doing the right thing regardless of the consequences. 

  • Jocelyn Vare

    Age: 52

    Education: B.A., Butler University

    Occupation: Founder/owner of Propeller Marketing, a 20-year-old Fishers advertising agency that specializes in tourism and economic development for Indiana communities.

    City of residence: Fishers

    Immediate family: A son (27), a daughter (25) and a dog (shih tzu-poodle).

    Previous political experience (please include any elected office sought): I am an at-large member of the Fishers City Council, elected in 2019.

    Website or best way for voters to reach you: JocelynVareForIndiana.com

    Why do you want to run for office?

    I want to serve you. You may have never voted for a Democrat before. That’s OK. But Indiana’s state government has never been this extreme before. Instead of working to improve Hoosiers’ lives, Indiana’s GOP supermajority is making life harder for all of us. I am running to provide better representation, real transparency and more balance. As a sensible Democrat with a proven track record of service, I am asking for your support and trust.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I’ve been elected by the people of Fishers to serve the community. Now, the entire City of Fishers is in one State Senate district for the first time. You deserve a dedicated, proven voice to represent you in the statehouse. I am proud of my record as a representative who is accessible, engaged, open-minded, inviting and brave enough to stand up to a supermajority when they are too extreme or like to work behind closed doors.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on? Repeal Indiana’s extreme abortion ban; pass sensible gun legislation, including the repeal of “permitless carry”; strengthen our public schools.

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

    I will fight to repeal Indiana’s abortion ban. My opponent advocated to further restrict women’s access to abortion care. I am a designated “Gun Sense Candidate,” which means you can count on me to fight for sensible gun legislation. My opponent is not. I’ll work to strengthen Indiana public schools and ensure that taxpayer funds are dedicated to public school needs and addressing the teacher shortage, not funneled into private/charter schools without accountability.

    How long have you lived in your district? Twenty-four years

    Something you want people to know about you?

    If you live in Fishers or Geist and believe that our state needs a course correction, please know that I am the only State Senate candidate on your ballot with a record of moderating a supermajority. On Fishers City Council, I have worked with a GOP supermajority to deliver solutions for neighbors. I also know how to hold a supermajority accountable when it is out of control.

State Representative District 24

State Rep. Donna Schaibley, a Republican incumbent, is facing a challenge for her District 24 seat in the Nov. 8 general election from Democrat Joellyn Mayer.

  • Donna Schaibley

    Education: Purdue University, BA in education and political science

    Occupation: State representative for District 24 in the Indiana General Assembly

    City: Carmel

    Age: 68

    Immediate family: Husband, John Schaibley, two children, three grandchildren

    Previous political experience: I have served as State Representative for District 24 in the Indiana General Assembly since 2015. I am vice chairman of the Courts and Criminal Code Committee, also serving on the Financial Institutions & Insurance Committee and the Public Health Committee. I am also a member of the Recycling Marketing Development Board and the All Payer Claims Database Board. 

    Website: schaibleyforindiana.com

    Why do you want to run for office? 

    During my service as State Representative, I have worked hard to advocate for my constituents and I pledge to continue doing this. I would like to continue working to increase health care price transparency, reducing health care costs, protecting the rights of victims of domestic violence and human trafficking, encouraging school transparency and excellence, and protecting the most vulnerable children in our foster care system.

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    As a State Representative, I have authored and sponsored numerous bills which have been enacted into law, including returning over $1.5 billion in state funds to Hoosier taxpayers, protecting rape victims by expanding the legal definition of rape, protecting victims of domestic abuse and other violence by strengthening protective order effectiveness, increasing Medicaid eligibility, coverage and benefits for pregnant women, and expanding the rights of violent crime victims to compensation.

    What are your top three campaign issues? 

    I will work to further increase health care price transparency to enable Hoosiers to compare health care prices. Also, I will work to increase school transparency and encourage academic excellence and to protect the most vulnerable children in our foster care system.

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

    My record of legislative accomplishments. Since 2015, I have routinely met with constituents, community groups, school and business leaders, mayors, city council members and state government officials in my continuing efforts to be informed about the concerns of the people of District 24 to effectively represent them in the General Assembly and to be their voice with state government agencies. I have authored and sponsored dozens of pieces of legislation that have improved the lives of Hoosiers. 

    How long have you lived in your district? 

    30 years

    What other organizations are you involved with?

    I am a member of the Carmel Rotary Club, a parishioner of Our Lady of Mount Carmel Church and am active with the Hamilton County and Boone County Republican party, and various women’s organizations. 

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    I was born and raised in Floyds Knobs, Ind.

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I enjoy cooking.

  • Joellyn Mayer

    Education: BGS from Indiana University

    Occupation: Small business owner/IT consultant/IT broker

    City: Westfield

    Age: 53

    Immediate family: My husband, Matt, and I live in Westfield with our daughter and rescue pit bull.

    Previous political experience: No formal political experience

    Website or best way for voters to reach you: votejoey.net

    Why do you want to run for office? 

    I am concerned about Indiana’s race to the bottom in every measurable statistic related to education, quality of life, environment, gun sense and economy. I am particularly concerned about our underfunded public education system as our youth are our greatest investment. When there is no one else to step up and lead, you must step up for what you believe in. And as the saying goes: Be the change you wish to see in the world.

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    My entire career has been built on finding solutions to business problems and cutting wasteful spending, where everyone walks away satisfied. Often, government decisions are made without examining the full and/or long-term impact on both spending and people. This is what I do successfully every day. I will bring that same experience and sensibility to government and my constituents.

    What your top three campaign issues? 

    Promoting quality public education, restoring reproductive healthcare freedom and focusing on fiscal responsibility 

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office? 

    I have a proven track record of fiscal responsibility and community engagement and representation before I even considered running for elected office. I am not a career politician; I am a politician with a career. 

    How long have you lived in your district? 

    I have lived in Westfield House District 24 for 21 years.

    What other organizations are you involved with? 

    I am one of the founders of Westfield Parents for Change, work with Moms Demand Action, Foster Fairies, and was a previous Board Member of Indiana Youth Services Association. I am also a proud graduate of the Shamrock Academy inaugural class. I gravitate toward organizations that focus on equity, education, children and anti-poverty initiatives with my time and money.

    Something most people don’t know about you? 

    Everyone knows I love my community, but not everyone knows I love it so much that I talked two of my bridesmaids and my mom into not only moving to the district, but to my neighborhood. I have a sense of responsibility to bring out the best in my community so all who live here can thrive.

    Something you want people to know about you? 

    Just because my parents are named Charles and Di doesn’t mean I expect to be treated like royalty. I am not afraid of hard work, especially when standing up for our shared values or standing shoulder to shoulder with people who need support. 

State Representative District 25

Republican Becky Cash, an alternative health care practitioner and business owner, and Democrat Jen Bass-Patino, a quality assurance manager, are seeking the District 25 seat in the Indiana House of Representatives. The seat is being vacated by State Rep. Donald Lehe, a Republican who is retiring from the office.

  • Becky Cash

    Age: 47

    Education: Bachelor of Arts and Sciences from Bowling Green State University with a Minor in Sociology and Political Science, Certification in Catechesis and Youth Ministry from Steubenville University, Naturopathic Degree from Trinity

    Occupation: Alternative Health Care Practitioner, Business Owner

    City of residence: Zionsville

    Immediate family: Husband, Chris; 5 daughters, 1 son

    Previous political experience: Many community leadership roles

    Website: www.beckycashforindiana.com  

    E-mail: info@beckycashforindiana.com

    Why do you want to run for office?

    I have spent the past 16 plus years serving the families of Indiana, helping parents navigate services for children with special needs navigate educational options, know their rights and how to advocate for them. I have testified multiple times at the state house and tried to work with legislators to help others. However, I came to realize that the rights and needs of families, small business owners and individuals were not being heard. For this reason, I entered the race for State Representative.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I believe that my advocacy work, knowledge of running multiple businesses, work with those with special and medical needs, experience working with people throughout the district and Indiana and ability to collaborate with others makes me well qualified. Most importantly, I have seen many politicians and individuals say one thing and do another. I am committed to fighting for the people of district 25.  

    What are the top 3 issues that your campaign will focus on?

    1. Parental Rights in All Decisions
    2. Protecting our communities (including law enforcement, those with special needs and our elderly)
    3. Fiscal Responsibility

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

    I have spent the past 16 plus years fighting for the children and families of Indiana and our district. I collaborate well with others, research topics and have a history of helping those I seek to serve. I am honest and I have and will continue to sit down with individuals and community leaders to make a difference for our district.  

    How long have you lived in your district?

    Over 16 years

    What other organizations are you involved with?

    St. Alphonsus Liguori Parish, Purposeful Living, Inc, Boone County Republican Women, Indiana Federation of Republican Women, Board of Advisors for St. Ambrose Academy, Board of advisors for H2 Autism Foundation, Purpose for My Pain, A Kid Again, JDRF and a variety of Social Service organizations throughout the year.  

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    I am the granddaughter of Holocaust Survivors and my father-in-law was an officer killed in the line of duty.  Our family history gives me the determination to never settle for mediocre.  

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I am a collaborator.  I love working with a variety of different people and coming up with solutions. 

  • Jen Bass-Patino

    Age: 50

    Education: B.A. Biology – University of Illinois, Springfield

    Occupation: Manager, Quality Assurance

    City of residence: Zionsville, IN

    Immediate family: 2 daughters, 17 and 13

    Previous political experience: I’ve not previously run for any elected offices.

    Website: VoteJenBP.com

    Why do you want to run for office?

    I believe that we must start working to heal the division in this country by focusing on our shared goals using a common-sense, moderate approach to help our citizens and communities thrive.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I have a science degree and a proven record of global team leadership to achieve complex goals.

    What are the top 3 issues that your campaign will focus on?

    1. Healthcare: Including mental health and women’s reproductive rights
    2. Education: Ensuring support for our public education system
    3. Employment: Helping to remove barriers to growth for small businesses

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

    My moderate approach, large team leadership history, experience working in law enforcement and Healthcare.

    How long have you lived in your district?

    Since August 2014

    What other organizations are you involved with?

    Boone County Democrats, Precinct Committee Chair

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    I enjoy beekeeping and recently completed a Tough Mudder competition.

    Something you want people to know about you?

    My parents raised me to understand that I had two choices when faced with a problem; I could complain about it, or I could take action to make a positive change. I’m running to make a positive change in IN HD-25.

State Representative District 29

  • Chuck Goodrich is running unopposed for Indiana State Representative District 29.

State Representative District 32

Republican Fred Glynn and Democrat Victoria Garcia Wilburn will each other in the Nov. 8 election to represent District 32 in Fishers. The district stretches from 106th street and Shelborne Road over to Cumberland Road.

  • Fred Glynn

    Age: 47

    Education: B.S., Embry-Riddle

    Occupation: Loan officer

    City of residence: Carmel

    Immediate family: Wife, Beth, and daughter, Jayda. 

    Previous political experience: Finishing up my second term on the Hamilton County Council. 

    Website or best way for voters to reach you: fredglynn.com

    Why do you want to run for office

     I can provide leadership on key issues affecting our community just like I have on the county level. 

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I’ve been involved with and serving this community for a long time. Most of that time has been spent volunteering for candidates and organizations that also serve the community. I have served as a policy leader for the 2012 governor’s campaign and am serving my second term on the County Council. My leadership on the county level has resulted in a AAA bond rating, an efficiency study of county departments, and purchasing land to build a domestic violence shelter. 

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    Education, support for law enforcement in the era of defund the police; and property tax assessments on homeowners that have gotten out of control. 

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office? I am the only candidate with proven leadership skills pertinent to this community. I have a proven track record of standing up to special interests under immense pressure when protecting my constituents and will do the same at the Statehouse. I am the only candidate with hands-on private sector work experience. My background in finance and business will give me a unique perspective on potential legislation. 

    How long have you lived in your district? 

    Twenty years

    What other organizations are you involved with?

    My church and volunteer at Gleaners. I also like to attend events for Prevail and support that organization. 

    Something most people don’t know about you

     I am really into photography, exercise and national parks. Last year, I hiked 20 miles in one day in the mountains at Grand Teton National Park.

  • Victoria Garcia Wilburn

    Age: 40 

    Education: Bachelor of Science, Occupational Therapy, Boston University, Boston, 2005; Master of Health Science, University of Indianapolis, 2012; Doctor of Health Science, University of Indianapolis, 2014

    Occupation: Indiana University, Indianapolis, School of Health and Human Sciences Dept. of Occupational Therapy
    Assistant professor-tenure track 

    City of residence: Indianapolis 

    Immediate family: 

    • Christopher — husband 
    • Isabella — daughter 
    • Anya — daughter 
    • Jude — son 
    • Victor and Elida Garcia — parents 

    Previous political experience (please include any elected office sought): First-time candidate 

    Website or best way for voters to reach you: wilburnforindiana.com 

    Why do you want to run for office? 

    Through my work as a community-engaged researcher and a university professor in health and human sciences, I see firsthand how Indiana’s poor overall health and mental health outcomes devastate our communities. We can and must do better for all Hoosiers, and it will take leadership and public health expertise in the Indiana Statehouse to solve these problems, which is what led me to run for House District 32. 

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    I bring a deep level of experience in working alongside community members to improve Hoosier public health outcomes. This practice requires collective listening, gathering evidence and data, and seeking broad input from stakeholders, which are the same skills and ethics that I’ll bring to the job of representing the constituents of House District 32. Further, as a mental and behavioral health expert, I will bring that knowledge to the legislature while advocating for

    better public policy, adequate funding, and greater access to care. 

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on? 

    • Public health, education, safety and well-being 

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office? 

    I believe I am trustworthy, and I am a person of high integrity. I was not brought up in wealth, nor do I come from a political family. Everything I have achieved in life is because I work hard, I keep my word, I ask for help, and I listen to others when they feel I am on the wrong path. This human element has been lost in politics since (President) Obama left office. I believe I can unite people around the issues that matter to us all. 

    How long have you lived in your district? 

    Nine years 

    What other organizations are you involved with? 

    • American Occupational Therapy Association, board director, Board of Directors June 2021-Present 
    • Society for Adolescent Research 
    • Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine 
    • American Public Health Association, Member 
    • National Board for Certification in Occupational Therapy 
    • Hope Academy Recovery High School, Board of Directors 
    • Reach For Youth, Inc. Board of Directors 
    • Marion County Drug Prevention Alliance, board member 
    • Community Health and Education Partnerships, at-large member 
    • Indiana Occupational Therapy Association, Legislative and Advocacy Committee, Member
    • Indiana Occupational Therapy Association, member 

    Something most people don’t know about you? 

    I’ve run three Boston Marathons back in the day when you could run as a “ghost” runner. I finished one marathon in under four hours! After the devastating earthquake in Haiti in 2010, I served in a medical mission, casting, splinting, and treating orthopedic injuries and training local health care workers. I have studied abroad in both Costa Rica and Spain. I meditate daily.

State Representative District 37

  • Todd Huston is running unopposed for Indiana State Representative 37.

State Representative District 39

Incumbent Republican Jerry Torr is facing a challenge for the Indiana House of Representatives District 39 seat from Matt McNally, a veteran and airline pilot.

  • Jerry Torr

    Party: Republican 

    Education: Attended Hanover College, graduated from the Musicians Institute in California.

    Occupation: National account manager, Near North Title Group

    City: Carmel

    Age: 64

    Immediate family: Twin brother John Torr, younger sister, Janet Jayne, and father, Ken Torr

    Previous political experience: I’m proud to be the current state representative for my district. 

    Website: Jerry Torr for State Representative on Facebook.

    Why do you want to run for office? 

    To continue the progress we’ve made moving Indiana and Hamilton County forward as the most attractive place in the Midwest to live, work and raise a family.

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    In my time serving this district, I have a strong record of building coalitions (often bipartisan) to enact legislation. My relationships at the Statehouse and in our community have helped me be an advocate for Hamilton County, especially around issues related to small businesses and job creation. I’ve been proud to chair both the House Committee on Rules and the House Committee on Judiciary in recent years and have worked closely with leaders from around the state to get results for our state.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    • Ensuring Indiana continues our record funding increases for our public schools and empowering even more parents to choose the right education opportunity for their kids.
    • Addressing the spread of crime and drugs in our communities, keeping violent offenders behind bars and making Indiana a national leader in treating mental health and addiction issues.
    • Working to fight inflation and ensure Hoosiers keep more of their hard-earned dollars, as the federal government continues to do the opposite.

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office? 

    I have twice been named Government Leader of the Year by the Indiana Chamber of Commerce for my work to improve Indiana’s business climate. I have supported repeat record increases for K-12 education while also voting to reduce government debt and to return over $1.5 billion of their own money to taxpayers in the form of a taxpayer refund due to Indiana’s budget surplus.

    How long have you lived in your district? 

    I moved to Carmel in 1987.

    What other organizations are you involved with? 

    I serve on the board of directors of the Indiana Humanities Council and the Carmel Symphony Orchestra.

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    Growing up, I showed cattle and hogs in 4-H in Putnam County.

    Something you want people to know about you? 

    I am truly honored to serve the people of House District 39 and pride myself in communicating with my constituents. Whenever possible, I try to personally respond to those reaching out with questions or concerns.

  • Matt McNally

    Party: Democrat 

    Education: The Citadel Military College, B.A. in history

    Occupation: Commercial airline pilot

    City: Westfield 

    Age: 44

    Immediate Family: My wife, Brooke McNally, our two teenage children, Isabella and Aidan, and our rescue bulldog, Luna. 

    Previous political experience: I have a long history of government experience. My military experience was quite varied because I had a large number of different assignments. 

    Website: mcnallyforindiana.com

    Why do you want to run for office? 

    As someone who has spent all my life serving my country, I am very excited about this opportunity to serve my community. The position of state representative is one that has a tremendous effect on the everyday lives of Hoosiers. In addition to being a voice for the Caramel and Westfield communities in Indianapolis, I believe that our state representative should be an active and present member in our neighborhoods. So far this campaign, we have reached out to more than 9,000 voters at their doors in the district. Many of them were unaware who their state representative was or how they could contact them. If elected, I will be sure this office is open to everyone, is regularly present in the community, and is accountable to the voters in this district. 

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I believe my military experience has prepared me in many ways to represent this community. I had a fairly diverse career that included budgeting, government acquisitions, policy writing, and working with government officials throughout the United States, Europe, and the Middle East. I was also the director of operations for an attack squadron and the operations officer of a training command. Both of those jobs require strong leadership to ensure mission success and the safety of the service men and women involved. All of my positions in government have required the ability to listen and take recommendations, even when there have been disagreements on my teams. I believe that for our state representative to be a true leader for our communities, they must do the same: listen.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    • Women’s Health Care. Indiana has the third highest maternal mortality rate in the country. This means that twice as many pregnant women die in Indiana than the national average. Much of that is due to a lack of access to healthcare, something I would want to work on as State Representative. 
    • Supporting our Public Education. This year, we are facing a 3,000-teacher shortage. Indiana teachers are paid less than all of our surrounding states, including Kentucky. To remedy our teacher shortage, we must pay teachers more and support them through added resources, like special needs programs and reduced class sizes
    • Hoosier Veterans. Indiana has seen an increase in veteran homelessness of 16 percent over the last two years, despite having a $6 billion surplus. Our state must do more to support the troops and their needs when they leave the service.

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

    As a 22-year veteran, I believe I bring a very different perspective to this race. In addition to my year-long deployment to Afghanistan, I have been stationed in multiple states throughout this country and in Europe. I know from firsthand experience that there are proven solutions to many of the issues that matter to Hoosiers and if elected, I look forward to advocating for laws that will help people to thrive in our state.

    How long have you lived in your district? 

    I have lived in Westfield for 7 years, but like many in our community, I won’t officially be in District 39 until election day! Redistricting has dramatically shifted the boundaries of this district.

    What other organizations are you involved with? 

    I am a volunteer English teacher with Exodus Refugee, an organization that serves the resettlement needs of refugees in Indiana. I am also a member of the Airline Pilots Association, a member organization that ensures airline safety, security, and pilot assistance. Finally, I am a member of the Carmel VFW Post 10003 (Veterans of Foreign Wars), an advocacy group of US military veterans.

    Something most people don’t know about you? 

    I’m driven by a sense of duty to the country and the community that was instilled in me by my parents. My father was a Vietnam veteran, and my mother worked for a Catholic school, and they taught me the values of integrity and service. As a father, I am instilling those same values in my own children. Running for this office has been an excellent way to show my kids the importance of supporting and trying to improve your community.

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I believe in public service. As a military officer, I swore an oath to uphold the Constitution. I have also administered that same oath to sailors and airmen. Those words have meaning. Whether you are swearing into the military, or as a legislator, you have a duty and a responsibility to the public you serve. I take that oath seriously. My entire life has been a life of service and a commitment to putting the needs of our country first. As a legislator, I will continue that service and commitment to the needs of our community.

State Representative District 88

Donna Griffin of Greenfield is the Democratic candidate that will be challenging Republican incumbent Chris Jeter for House District 88 this fall. District 88 is northeast of downtown Lawrence and covers parts of Marion, Hamilton and Hancock counties.

  • Chris Jeter

    Age: 43

    Education: Bachelor of Arts, Oklahoma Baptist University
    Juris Doctor, The George Washington University School of Law 

    Occupation: Attorney and small business owner

    City of residence: Fishers

    Immediate family: Wife Karen. Children Macy, 7, Hayden, 3, and Kali, 2

    Previous political experience: Served one term as State Rep for HD 88.

    Website or best way for voters to reach you: chrisjeter.com.

    Why do you want to run for office? 

    My time in the U.S. Navy instilled in me a heart for service, and I saw this seat as a way to serve the community I grew up in.  It is an honor to serve.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    A servant’s heart; born and raised in Fishers.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    Pro small business policies, support for law enforcement, personal freedoms.

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

    My views represent the views of our community and I have young kids in our schools and a business in our community. I know the impact Statehouse policies can have on individuals. I live it every day.

    How long have you lived in your district?

    Ten years since getting out of the Navy, 32 years total

    What other organizations are you involved with?

    I spend my free time with my kids in their sports.

    Something most people don’t know about you

     I make the best mac and cheese

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I am a Reserve officer in the United States Navy, having achieved the rank of commander.

    Website or best way for voters to reach you? chrisjeter.com.

  • Donna Griffin

    Age: 63

    Education: Master’s degree, sociology, University of Texas at El Paso; Bachelor’s degree Journalism/sociology, Butler University; graduate of Arsenal Technical High School, Indianapolis

    Occupation: Adjunct professor at Butler University, a substitute teacher in Hancock County and independent author and media creator. She has either lived or worked in all four counties of District 88.

    City of residence: Greenfield

    Immediate family: Griffin and her husband, David, live in Buck Creek Township in Hancock County. They have a daughter and son-law who live in Marion County, a son and daughter-in-law who live in Bloomington, and four grandchildren. Their oldest daughter was killed by a reckless driver in 2006 at age 23. She is the inspiration for the nonprofit they founded in 2009 at Zion Lutheran Church in New Palestine, Dani’s Dreams Innovation in Education. Dani’s Dreams has two outdoor education trails at Zion and Sugar Creek Township Park. 

    Previous political experience: None

    Why do you want to run for office? 

    After an 18-year career as a local journalist and 25 years as a teacher in El Paso, Texas, and Indianapolis Public Schools, I announced my candidacy for Indiana House District 88 for two reasons: To address inequities and lack of innovation in education policy in Indiana by listening, supporting, and celebrating Indiana’s teachers, and to represent Hamilton, Hancock, Madison, and Marion county citizens of diverse ages, races and perspectives.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I am not bound to any political philosophy. I am a citizen of this state and would like to be a part of creating laws that address the needs of the people who live in HD 88.

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

    I have a diversity of career experiences: 1) a wealth of knowledge and understanding of this state and its political institutions through 18 years as a local reporter in Hamilton, Hancock, and Marion counties and as an editor/owner for the Pendleton Times and Times-Post in Madison County; 2) a depth of experience in education as a classroom teacher of diverse students at the high school and college level in El Paso, Texas, and Indianapolis Public Schools for 25 years.

    How long have you lived in your district?

    Fifteen years

    What other organizations are you involved with? 

    I am a master journalism educator with the Journalism Education Association, a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI) and a member of Zion Lutheran Church, New Palestine

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    I have written five children’s books, three that I have published independently. I am a Hoosier history (especially sports) nerd. And I love to dance.

    Something you want people to know about you? 

    As an individual citizen, I truly do believe that I can make a difference for my community, especially for our young people.

    Website or best way for voters to reach you? griffinforindiana.com; email: donnag@griffinforindiana.com.

Hamilton County Races

Hamilton County Clerk of the Circuit Court

  • Kathy Kreag Williams is running unopposed for Hamilton County Clerk of the Circuit Court.

Hamilton County Recorder

  • Trini K. Beaver is running unopposed for Hamilton County Recorder.

Hamilton County Sheriff

  • Dennis Quakenbush is running unopposed for Hamilton County Sheriff.

Hamilton County Coroner

  • Jeff Jellison is running unopposed for Hamilton County Coroner.

Hamilton County Assessor

  • Kevin W. Poore is running unopposed for Hamilton County Assessor.

Hamilton County Prosecuting Attorney

Democrat Jessica Paxson and Republican Greg Garrison are vying to be elected Hamilton County’s next prosecutor. Garrison defeated incumbent Lee Buckingham in the May primary. Election Day is Nov. 8.

  • Education: IU Bloomington, Social Studies B.S. ed, 1970. IU School of Law, J.D. 1973.

    Occupation: Lawyer 

    City: Fishers

    Age: 74 

    Immediate family: Wife, Phyllis, seven children, 15 grandchildren 

    Previous political experience: None 

    Website: garrisonforprosecutor.com

    Why do you want to run for office? 

    The prosecutor of Hamilton County must be focused at all times on the protection of the citizens. Currently, there are violent crimes within the county that are going unprosecuted. As we are seeing more and more crime coming from Marion County, the priorities of the prosecutor’s office need to change now. It starts with putting the victim first. The prosecutor should work hand in hand with law enforcement to build the case. Finally, the prosecutor should train and trust his deputy prosecutors to find the appropriate resolution, whether plea or trial, for each case. 

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    Approximately 50 years of experience in the prosecution of felonies across Indiana. I have tried high-profile death penalty murder cases as well as successfully prosecuted Mike Tyson for rape in Marion County. I am not afraid of the hard work involved in such cases and therefore, I will not limit myself to only pursuing “perfect cases.” 

    What are the top  issues that your campaign will focus on? 

    1. Protecting citizens from violent crimes 
    2. Build a rapport with law enforcement to prepare stronger cases for prosecution 
    3. Train the next generation of deputy prosecutors to leave a legacy for the next generation. 

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office? 

    My entire legal career has been dedicated to criminal prosecution, from simple felonies to capital murder. I won’t back down from a tough case. 

    How long have you lived in your district? 

    Approximately 40 years 

    What other organizations are you involved with? 

    I am retired from full time prosecution of criminal offenses as well as civil forfeitures and racketeering claims. 

    Something most people don’t know about you? 

    I spent 20 years as a radio talk show host at WIBC Indianapolis, three hours per day, five days per week. Now, I spend time with my grandchildren and avidly take care of my three horses. I have loved horses since preschool, and I cannot imagine my life without them. 

    Something you want people to know about you? 

    Criminal law and its fulfillment have always been my focus. I am the right person to keep Hamilton County safe at a time when crime is on the rise across the nation. 

  • Jessica Paxson

    Education: B.A. in criminal justice and criminology, Ball State University, 2006; J.D., Indiana University Robert H. McKinney School of Law, 2008.

    Occupation: Deputy prosecutor, Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office

    City: Noblesville

    Age: 38

    Immediate family: Single

    Previous political experience: This is my first campaign for political office. 

    Website: PaxsonForProsecutor.com

    Why do you want to run for office?

    I am running for office because I believe we need the right leadership to keep Hamilton County safe. I was raised in Hamilton County. This is my home, and it is also where my young nieces are growing up. Carmel, Fishers, Westfield and Noblesville are all ranked in the top seven safest cities in the state of Indiana. To keep it that way, we need leaders who have been working daily in this community with a focus on public safety.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I have spent the last seven years serving as a deputy prosecutor in the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s office, largely focusing on violent and sex crimes. Prior to returning home to serve Hamilton County, I served in the Tippecanoe County Prosecutor’s Office as a deputy prosecuting attorney from 2011 through 2015. I spent two years in private practice, appearing in courts in 75 of Indiana’s 92 counties. 

    What are the top issues that your campaign will focus on?

    My campaign for prosecutor is focused on four key issues:

    • Aggressively prosecuting violent and habitual offenders
    • Establishing a Special Victims Unit focused on domestic violence and sex crime cases
    • Continuing the relentless pursuit of red flag law cases to keep firearms out of the hands of individuals whom law enforcement has identified as experiencing mental health crises
    • Partnering with law enforcement agencies to develop training programs for new officers and prosecutors

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

    I am and have been a prosecutor working in the courts consistently for over 11 years.

    The practice of law, like many professional practices, is constantly evolving with new tactics and advancing technology such as the use of DNA evidence. It is important to be consistently practicing law to stay at the top of the field. 

    How long have you lived in your district?

    I was raised in Hamilton County and still considered it “homebase” while attending college and law school. I returned as a permanent resident in 2018. 

    What other organizations are you involved with?

    I was recognized by Prevail, Inc. as their “Hero of the Month” in June 2018. In 2020, Indiana Coalition to End Sexual Assault & Human Trafficking recognized me for outstanding service as a prosecutor on behalf of victims and survivors of sexual violence. I co-chair the Hamilton County Sexual Assault Response Team and am a member of the Domestic Violence Task Force. 

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    Growing up as “latchkey kids,” my siblings and I were often cared for by our grandparents, so when my grandmother reached a point where she could no longer live on her own, I moved her into my home and continue to serve as her caretaker. 

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I recently discovered photography as a way to document my love of nature and wildlife. 

Hamilton County Commissioner District 1

  • Christine Altman is running unopposed for Hamilton County Commissioner District 1.

Hamilton County Council District 1

  • Tim Griffin is running unopposed for Hamilton County Council District 1.

Hamilton County Council District 2

Incumbent Hamilton County Councilor Amy Massillamany, a Republican, is facing a challenge from Democrat Nathan Bullock for her District 2 seat. 

  • Amy Massillamany

    Age: 41

    Education: BS, public affairs

    Occupation: Director, client development at RGP; RGP is a global consulting firm that specializes in finance, accounting, governance, risk and compliance, information management, human capital and corporate advisory.

    City: Fishers 

    Immediate family: Jackson, 14, a freshman at Cathedral High School, and Sullivan, 11, a sixth grader at St. Louis de Montfort Catholic School

    Previous political experience: Current Hamilton County Councilor, District 2, and precinct committeeman

    Lived in district: 15 years 

    Website: facebook.com/hoosiersforamy

    What are the top issues that your campaign will focus on? 

    Maintain Hamilton County’s low tax rate and AAA bond rating by way of conservative fiscal decision making; continue to prioritize public safety; advocate for Hamilton County domestic violence shelter and support of mental health initiatives; expand county parks and quality of life projects. 

    Something most people don’t know about you? 

    I had a work assignment focusing on cross culture best practices, living in Singapore, in my mid-20s. While in southeast Asia, I traveled to Thailand, Malaysia, Hong Kong, as well as Indonesia. This time in my life and the experiences I had shaped me; they gave me a greater perspective and an appreciation for different customs, language, food and successes and challenges faced elsewhere. 

     

  • Nathan Bullock

    Age: 27

    Education: Graduated high school from Noblesville, graduated college from Ball State with a degree in industry and technology, with a technology design minor.

    Occupation: Estimator/project manager for a casework/millwork subcontractor

    City: Fishers

    Lived in district: Four years 

    Immediate family: I am married to my beautiful wife, and we have three cats and a dog

    Previous political experience: None

    Website: BullockforCountyCouncil.net 

    Why do you want to run for office? 

    I want to help provide more transparency to what our local officials are doing and provide a voice that will speak for those who want more options when it comes to affordable living and public transportation in Hamilton County.

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    The ability to be a team player day in and day out, the ability to listen in depth to many different opinions and construct solutions that fit more than one individual’s needs, and the empathy to understand everyone’s situation. 

    What are the top issues that your campaign will focus on?

    Affordable living, public transportation and transparency 

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office? 

    I believe my attitude and personality by far sets me apart from other candidates. I try to work well with anyone and everyone despite our differences, because at the end of the day, we’re all trying our best to do what we think is best for ourselves and our communities. I have hope and optimism that things will only continue to get better, and that we’ll work together to accomplish those goals.

    What other organizations are you involved with? 

    Currently no other organizations. 

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    I played the violin for six years and enjoy classical music. 

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I want people to know about my passion of wanting to help build a better society/community. There are countless problems every day that need solutions. Personally, I love problem solving and I believe I could be a great asset when it comes to studying these problems and creating positive solutions within our community.

Hamilton County Council District 3

  • Mark F. Hall is running unopposed for Hamilton County Council District 3.

Hamilton County Council District 4

  • Ken Alexander is running unopposed for Hamilton County Council District 4.

Hamilton County Township Races

Clay Township Trustee

  • Paul D. Hensel is running unopposed for Clay Township Trustee

Clay Township Board (vote for 3)

Five candidates are running for three seats on the Clay Township Board: Democrats Julia Leigh Keller and Dallas Shelby and Republicans Mary Eckard, Matt Snyder and Paul Bolin. Eckard and Snyder are incumbents.

  • Paul Bolin

    Age: 64 

    Education: B.S. in marketing/advertising from Indiana University 

    Occupation: Vice president of sales for Kennedy Tank & Manufacturing Company, Inc., a family-owned steel tank manufacturing company in business for over 124 years 

    City: Carmel

    Immediate family: Wife, Ann, three children, Courtney, Kevin and Brian 

    Previous political experience: Eight years as member of the Carmel Clay Schools board of trustees, with two years as board president, and 16 years as a member of the Clay Township Board, 4 of which were as board president. I also was an appointed member of the Carmel Clay Parks Board and the Carmel Clay Public Library Advisory Board.

    Best way for voters to reach you: pbolin@kennedytank.com 

    Why do you want to run for office? 

    I want to focus my energy on the continuous improvement of my hometown. I have loved watching the graceful evolution of Carmel from a quiet little farm town in the late 1960s to the vibrant, energetic city and business community that it has become. 

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    Experience! Having been an elected public official for 24 years, I believe I understand the expectations of our citizens and businesses.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on? 

    Supporting public safety, continued development and expansion of the parks department, stewardship and guidance with poor relief/public assistance. These all combine to enhance the quality of life experiences that come with living in Carmel 

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office? 

    Probably the diverse elected political offices I have held, and the longevity of my residence in Carmel (49 years). 

    What other organizations are you involved with? 

    Board member of Highland Golf & Country Club 

    Something most people don’t know about you? 

    I ran cross country and track at Carmel High School for legendary coach Chuck Koeppen in the 1970s

    Something you want people to know about you? 

    I climbed the Grand Teton Mountain in Wyoming.

  • Matthew Snyder

    Age: 39

    City: Carmel

    Immediate family: Wife, Ashlee; daughter, Charlie, 4; and son, Benjamin, 3

    Previous political experience: Clay Township Board 

    Best way for voters to reach you: Msnyder48@gmail.com

    Why do you want to run for office? 

    Since being on the Township Board, Clay Township has done more and has been more active than any other township in the state. Our Clay Township Impact Program has redefined how people look at township government around the country. I wish to continue leading the way to the completion of the final four of the 23 projects in our Impact Program during the beginning of my next term in 2023.

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    I have the drive and determination to actually get things done, and the capital improvements made over the last four years certainly back that up. I have an understanding of municipal finance that is required to move projects forward for our community. I have the understanding of infrastructure, planning, and implementation needed to keep Clay Township the greatest community in the country.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    Maintaining the gold standard for our parks and fire departments by continuing to ensure we are not only promoting and maintaining them but enabling them to continue at their best.

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office? 

    I have excelled at serving our community in this office. I have accomplished everything I have promised and said I was going to do and led the way on many more. Since holding this office the township has been responsible for new construction, remodeling or replacement of every single existing Carmel Clay Fire Dept. station. We have added several new lifesaving engines, trucks, tillers and ambulances to the fleet, and we will continue to keep Carmel the safest community to live in.  Since being on the board, the township has reconstructed and modernized every one of our Carmel Clay parks, making them more attractive, innovative, safe and engaging. I am committed to making sure Carmel Clay Parks remains the greatest parks system anywhere.

    Something you want people to know about you?

    Aside from my family and faith, serving our community has been the most important thing I have ever put my heart and soul into. I have been so privileged to serve every individual in this community. I have spent my life in Carmel. I was born here, went through and graduated from Carmel schools here, married my wife Ashlee here, and am raising two young children here. I have seen the immensity of the changes in our community over the past 40 years and I love where we have gotten. I also have the unique insight of understanding the foundations laid in the past that helped get us to our present position as a community. We do live in the greatest community, and I would be honored to earn your vote.

  • Julia Keller

    Age: 65

    Education: BA in voice performance from Indiana University School of Music 

    Occupation: Violin/viola teacher, music substitute and adjunct teacher in Hamilton Southeastern Schools, local performer 

    City: Carmel

    Immediate family: Roger Welter, husband; Leo Bennie, son

    Previous political experience: Precinct Chair – Clay No. 35

    Website: JuliaKellerforClayTownshipBoard.com 

    Why do you want to run for office?

    I am a candidate for Clay Township Board because I believe the people sitting on the board presently have lost touch with the community. I believe the purpose of the Clay Township board is to take care of the community in which we live. 

    What are your qualifications for office?

    I listen. I am a community member. I have no political agenda. 

    What are your top three campaign issues? 

    1. Have neighborhood public meetings to gain understanding from the communities in Carmel. 
    2. Board members should be available for emergency responses for citizens in emergency need. 
    3. The Clay Township board should have a partnership with community places of worship and community centers for citizens in need. 

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office? 

    I have fresh eyes. I believe the board members have been there too long and have lost sight of their purpose. 

    How long have you lived in your district? 

    I rented an apartment at Mohawk Hills 35 years ago and then moved back to Carmel 16 years ago. 

    What other organizations are you involved with? 

    Hamilton Southeastern Schools, First Presbyterian Church of Noblesville, Indianapolis Youth Orchestra, Indianapolis Baroque Orchestra, Indianapolis Symphonic Choir, Kokomo Symphony Orchestra, Carmel Democratic Club

    Something most people don’t know about you? 

    I had my first broken bone this year!

    Something you want people to know about you?

     I am an avid tennis player and I prefer the clay at Carmel Racquet Club. 

  • Dallas Shelby

    Age: 48

    Occupation: Nonprofit branding and management consultant

    City: Carmel

    Immediate family: I am married with three young children.

    Previous political experience: I have been a precinct chair since moving to Carmel three years ago. I also served as a delegate to the State Democratic Convention in 2020. I’ve volunteered for several local campaigns and progressive causes. 

    Best way for voters to reach you: dallasforclay@gmail.com

    Why do you want to run for office? 

    Since moving here, I have focused on being of service to causes in which I believe. I am dedicated to making a positive impact on this community and am running to become a member of the Clay Township Board to ensure that all voices in the community are represented on the board.

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    I am passionate about giving back to my community. In addition to my volunteer work, I’ve spent the last 25 years working with nonprofits and government agencies to help them better serve their constituents.

    What are the top 3 issues that your campaign will focus on? 

    I will work to make sure all the voices of our community are represented at the township level. I will support continued enhancements to area parks, making them accessible and safe. I will support public safety by updating fire stations and equipment. 

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office? 

    I was not born here, but rather chose to move here (from suburban Maryland more than three years ago). I am firmly rooted in the community but with a fresh perspective that allows me to see challenges and opportunities others might miss. 

    What other organizations are you involved with? 

    I am a member of the executive committee of the board of irectors of the Carmel Education Foundation, a nonprofit that provides college scholarships for high school seniors and innovation grants for teachers in Carmel Clay Schools.

    Something most people don’t know about you? 

    I was born and raised on a farm in Arkansas. This ingrained in me a deep sense of community and an appreciation for hard work. 

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I am deeply committed to making this community a better, safer, happier place for everyone. 

Delaware Township Trustee

  • Debbie R. Driskell is running unopposed for Delaware Township Trustee.

Delaware Township Board (vote for 3)

Fall Creek Township Trustee

Incumbent Doug Allman and Nicole Tredup are running for Fall Creek Township Trustee in the Nov. 8 election. Fall Creek Township is east of Fishers. The township runs from 146th Street to 96th Street and stretches from Cumberland Road to Atlantic Road.

  • Doug Allman

    Age: 65

    Education:  Indiana University B.S. in Business

    Occupation:  35 years in Industrial Sales for Dot Systems 

    City of residence: Fishers

    Immediate family:  Shelly, wife of 42 years; daughter, Darcy, 30, son, Denny 34

    Previous political experience:  Fall Creek Township Board member 6 years, incumbent Fall Creek Township Trustee six years, Fishers Plan Commission, Chairman of City Yes PAC.

    Website or best way for voters to reach you: Facebook, Doug Allman for Fall Creek Township Trustee

    Why do you want to run for office? 

    To continue to serve the Fishers area people with low taxes, compassionate poor relief, excellent fire and EMS services, top cemetery maintenance, and to complete our 80-acre nature park, Fall Creek Woods, currently under construction.  

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    My previous experience as a Township Board member and Trustee.  Annual training by the state as well as the Indiana Township Association.  

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on? Fiscal responsibility of no debt and lowest collected Township tax rate in Hamilton County; navigating COVID-19 and the aftermath of a shutdown so that people were continually served, and the township taxpayer was protected. We are financially prepared for inflation and an economic downturn brought about by federal mismanagement.

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office? 

    My many years of service to the community.  My training and knowing how to do the job and doing it right.  My opponent has never attended any of our board meetings and has made statements that clearly indicate she does not know or understand the excellent job my Board and I have done.  

    How long have you lived in your district? 36 years

    What other organizations are you involved with? 

    Many different conservation groups including the DNR’s Fish and Wildlife Advisory Committee

    Something most people don’t know about you? 

    Honored by the Indiana Dept. of Natural Resources in 1995 as Conservationist of the Year

    Something you want people to know about you?

    If elected this would be my last term.  I am very proud of the work I have done and the legacy I would leave for the Township, Fishers and future generations.

  • Nicole Tredup

    Age: 40

    Education: Associate’s degree

    Occupation: Bookkeeper

    City of residence: Fishers

    Immediate family: I am married to my husband, Jason, of 21 years and we have 3 children: Cara, 18, is a freshman at Valparaiso University; Matthew, 15, is a sophomore at Hamilton Southeastern High School; and Skylar, 10, is in the fourth grade at Geist Elementary.

    Previous political experience: None

    Website or best way for voters to reach you: facebook.com/nicoletredupfortrustee 

    Why do you want to run for office?

    I have volunteered for many years in different ways to be an asset to our community. I feel as though running for office is a great way to help in the community that has been so amazing to my family.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I have an accounting background and am currently working in the accounting field. With these qualifications, I am able to help work on balancing the needs of the community.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on

     I want to increase the access to the short-term aid the trustee’s office provides to prevent homelessness in the community. While doing this, I hope to bring more awareness to our community that the aid is available. I would also like to offer free financial education to anyone in our community who may be interested in this.

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

    I don’t know if it sets me apart from my opponent, however, I have firsthand experience at facing potential homelessness. When our first two children were babies, my husband and I had financial difficulties. Even though we both worked, we barely made enough to provide for our rent and other household expenses. We were very fortunate to have had family and friends to help us, because we also made too much according to our state to be provided with any financial assistance. I ended up having to work part-time at night because it was costing us too much in childcare for us to afford me working. I feel as though we were going backwards not forwards. In running for Fall Creek Township Trustee, I want to help as many as I can get through this difficult time, so things are not as hard or harder for others as they were for my family.

    How long have you lived in your district?

    We moved to Fishers in 2009 from Mississippi. We have loved living here and raising our families here.

    What other organizations are you involved with

     I have volunteered for Boy Scouts of America and Girl Scouts of America while my children participated. I have also sat on the board of the Hamilton County Artists’ Association. I am not currently affiliated with any organizations but have volunteered with many.

    Something most people don’t know about you? 

    I am a very open person. I don’t think there’s much about my life that people don’t know. 

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I am a very compassionate person and deeply feel for my fellow human. 

Fall Creek Township Board (vote for 3)

Five candidates are running for three spots on the Fall Creek Township Board in the Nov. 8 election. Fall Creek Township is east of Fishers. The township runs from 146th Street to 96th Street and stretches from Cumberland Road to Atlantic Road. Jason Meyer currently serves as the president of the Fall Creek Township Board, Brain Bahel serves is the board secretary and Rachna Greulach is an incumbent board member. Tony Scott could not be reached by Current before deadline.

  • Brian Baehl

    Age: 58  

    Education: Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering at the University of Evansville Occupation: Senior Software Engineer developing medical devices  

    City of Residence: Fishers  

    Immediate family: Wife Shelly married 27 years, son Nicholas and daughter Brianna who both graduated from Hamilton Southeastern Schools  

    Previous political experience: Elected Fall Creek Township Board member, elected precinct committeeman operating precinct voting locations for the past 14 years  to ensure our fundamental right to vote, elected state delegate, appointed Fishers Plan Commission  and Fall Creek Township Board of Zoning Appeals member.  

    Facebook Page and email address for voters to reach you? I can be reached on my Facebook page:  Brian Baehl Fall Creek Township Board Member and emailed at bbaehlfct@gmail.com  

    Why do you want to run for office? 

    I have a passion to serve our community and make our community the best that I can. I support quality fire protection and emergency medical services. Continue to develop the Fall Creek Woods Natural Area with more amenities planned for Fall Creek Township residents to enjoy, cemetery restoration and care, ensure that our tax dollars are well managed, and assisting families in need.  

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    I have a passion to serve the residents of Fall Creek Township. While living in our district for the past 21 years, I listen to the concerns and recommendations of our residents for the challenges that we face. I have served on several local boards both volunteering and elected to make our community the best that I can. Running for reelectionI am experienced with efficiencies and productivity as a current board member.  

    What are the top 3 issues that your campaign will focus on?  

    Keep taxes low. I have supported the decrease of the township tax rate by 14% and debt free; Continue to develop the Fall Creek Woods Natural Area with trails and canoe and kayak launch sites and create service projects for Scouting; services to residents. Continue to partner with charitable organizations to help residents in need  

    What sets you apart from the other candidates for this office?

    I am driven to help the community.  Running for reelection, I am experienced with efficiencies and productivity as a current board member.  

    How long have you lived in your district? 21 years.  

    What other organizations are you involved with?

    I served as a den leader in Cub Scouts and currently am an Assistant Scout Master in Boy Scouts for the past 14 years. I enjoy teaching the scouts leadership skills and about their community. I have previously volunteered in HSE school events and Fishers YMCA sports. 

    Something most people don’t know about you? 

    I hold several patents for electrical products and processes  

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I am a dedicated husband, father and community servant. 

  • Age: 54

    Education: Carmel High School ’87 Ball State, Marketing ’91 Purdue University Electrical Engineering

    Occupation:  Distribution sales manager at Onsemi  

    City of residence:  Fishers

    Immediate family: Nicole Pesavento, spouse.  Clara Meyer, daughter, 26, Lydia Meyer, daughter, 21

    Previous political experience:

    Current: President and elected to Fall Creek Township Board. Member of Fishers Board of Public Works and Safety.  

    Past Republican Precinct Committeeman, Delegate to Republican State Convention, HSE Facility Study Committee, HSE School rep for common wage hearings, Fishers Planning Commission, Candidate for Fishers Town Council.  

    Website or best way for voters to reach you: Facebook,  Jason Meyer for Fall Creek Township

    Why do you want to run for office? 

    My family and I have lived in Fall Creek Township since 1996.  I have served the residents of Fall Creek Township for 10 years on the board and through other civic positions.  I am running for reelection to continue the work I have been doing to provide fire protection, public assistance, cemetery care, and protecting our township’s natural treasures through park development.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I have the experience needed to be impactful to the township while representing the residents of Fall Creek Township interests.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on? 

    I will continue to be a voice for the residents focusing on providing fire protection, public assistance, cemetery care, and protecting our township’s natural treasures through park development.

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office?

    I am passionate to help my neighbors through listing and taking specific actions on the issues impacting them.

    How long have you lived in your district?  Since 1996

    What other organizations are you involved with?

    In addition to my other civic involvements, I am a member of iTOWN church.

    Something most people don’t know about you? 

    I am an avid outdoorsman.

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I am compassionate, and always a “glass half full” type person.  And I’m always open to have any conversation about Fall Creek Township.

  • Tony Scott did not respond.

  • Rachel Greulach

    Age: 43

    Education: B.S. in Business Administration with Honors in Accounting, The Ohio State University

    Occupation: Senior Director of Financial Reporting at Elanco Animal Health

    City of residence: Fishers

    Immediate family: Husband, Scot; sons, Ronak (9) and Milan (6)

    Previous political experience: Fall Creek Township Board Member, 2019 – present (elected in November 2018)

    Website:  rachnaforfallcreek.com

    Why do you want to run for office?

    I want to continue to help build upon the wonderful initiatives and projects that make our community such a wonderful place to live. My goals include maintaining low tax rates while expanding the amenities at Fall Creek Woods Natural Area and supporting programs meant to improve the lives of Fall Creek Township’s citizens, such as the Fall Creek Township food pantry and Youth Mentoring Initiative.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    As an incumbent, I have learned so much over the past 3+ years in office! I believe my experience thus far qualifies me to run again. In addition, I have a degree in accounting and a full-time job at a large company, which have taught me about things like balancing budgets as well as working with a variety of people, including our constituents.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    Maintaining low tax rates; expanding assistance services and increasing awareness for those in need; and seeing our vision come to life for Fall Creek Woods Natural Are

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office? 

    I am a combination of an incumbent candidate with experience in this specific office and a fresh voice to represent a demographic – working mom of young children – that is not widely represented in office in our neck of the woods.

    How long have you lived in your district? Nine years

    What other organizations are you involved with?

    Geist Elementary PTO, Fishers Democratic Club

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    I’m a proud Ohio State Buckeye and I can often be found rooting them on in football and basketball. I’m so excited that my sons are now old enough to love watching sports and to cheer for them with me!

    Something you want people to know about you

     I’m a first-generation Indian American and the proud daughter of immigrants. I have seen what a wonderful place America can be for people who work to make their dreams come true, and that can start here at home in Fishers, Indiana.

  • Sukriti Sachdeva

    Age: 39 

    Education: Bachelor of Dental Surgery (India), MBA Healthcare Administration (UC Denver, Co.)

    Occupation: Senior manager, Sales Operations and Solutioning

    City of residence: Fishers

    Immediate family: Carlo A Sclippa, husband; son, Niam Sclippa

    Previous political experience: None

    Why do you want to run for office? 

    To contribute and have a positive impact on our community. I believe in the saying by Mahatma Gandhi “Be the change you want to see in the world”. I would like to be a champion for further improving the community to be the best for everyone to thrive.

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    During my experience as a provider and my career in sales operations, I have developed leadership, active listening, empathy and problem-solving skills which will help me in being an effective representative of our community. In addition, I have developed excellent analytical and communication skills enhancing my qualifications for this position.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    1. Diversity and inclusion
    2. Expansion of community resources – continuous trails, dog parks or solving community pet issues by installing doggie waste bags station, more benches around community areas
    3. Neighborhood speeding – Unsafe environment for kids in neighborhood as the cars speed through

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office? 

    My ability to succeed in difficult situations and conversations, my never give up attitude and a different point of view based on living in 2 completely distinguished cultures,

    How long have you lived in your district? Three years

    What other organizations are you involved with? 

    • Global Health Connections 
    • UNICEF
    • Kiva – microfinancing
    • Food Bank of Northern Indiana

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    That I am a trained dentist from India. Currently not practicing but holding a doctor degree.

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I am a very warm individual with immense aptitude for helping people in need.

    Website or best way for voters to reach you? Email — drsukritisachdeva@gmail.com

Noblesville Township Trustee

  • Theresa Caldwell is running unopposed for Noblesville Township Trustee.

Noblesville Township Township Board (vote for 3)

Washington Township Trustee

  • Danielle Carey Tolan is running unopposed for Washington Township Trustee.

Washington Township Township Board (vote for 3)

Hamilton County School Board Races

Carmel Clay School Board 1

Sheldon Barnes, Jenny Brake, Kristin Kouka and Stephanie Flittner are running for the District 1 seat on the Carmel Clay Schools board of trustees. The seat generally encompasses the area of Carmel east of Ditch road and north of Main Street. The ballot will include Districts 1, 2 and 3 on the Carmel Clay Schools board of trustees. Carmel voters cast votes in all three races.

  • Sheldon Barnes

    Age: 40 

    Education: Bachelor of science in business administration with a management and leadership concentration. 

    Occupation: Associate director at Eli Lilly and Co. President of Barnes Residential LLC and Carmel Realty LLC.

    Length of time in district: 12 years

    Immediate family: Wife and four children

    Website: sheldonbarnes.com and blog.sheldonbarnes.com

    Previous political experience: Precinct Committeeman and I ran for Hamilton County Council District 1 in 2018. 

    Why do you want to run for school board? 

    I am running for the school board to provide better people leadership to our community. I believe our school board can benefit from a transformational leader like me who can inspire and motivate others to be more engaged and involved in the education of our children. I am running to provide the leadership we desperately need to unite our community and ensure we continue producing the best educational system. 

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    I am a transformational leader that inspires and motivates others to be more productive and involved. My diverse experience includes our armed forces, the financial services industry, the pharmaceutical industry, marketing and technology startups, youth sports, nonprofit boards, and running our family’s real estate businesses. This includes leading teams to deliver complex projects within scope and budget. 

    My most important qualification is my demonstrated ability to bring people together and get them to focus on areas of agreement. This will be pivotal for working with Support CCS, Carmel Youth Assistance, Moms for Liberty and other advocacy groups. 

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on? 

    • Ensuring we maintain our excellent schools within our fiscal constraints.
    • Increasing our engagement with our students, parents and community.
    • Ensuring we are doing our best for our students who have a disability. 

    What do you see as strengths at Carmel Clay Schools? 

    Our students, teachers, parents, administrators, and our engaged community. The greatest of all is our teachers, of which 99.6 percent are rated “effective” or “highly effective.” Our teachers continue to be dedicated despite the divisiveness of our time. 

    What do you see as areas of improvement at Carmel Clay Schools? 

    Parental and community involvement. Our leaders canceled parent-teacher conferences, prevented parents and grandparents from having lunch at school, and suspended parents and community members from commenting at our school board meetings. These people pay the taxes to provide the funds to pay our debt, secure our schools and fund the operations to educate our children. 

    Community resource center: We need an interactive parent and community guide where parents can go for help, answers and sharing their suggestions.

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity, and inclusion matters? 

    First, schools should define the problem they are trying to solve and establish measurable outcomes. Carmel Clay Schools’ DEI program overemphasizes race, which is a very narrow view. We should also focus on other dimensions of difference, including the 11 percent of our students with a disability, language, socio-economic background, national origin and military and law enforcement affiliation. In terms of how: we should teach strong values such as respect for people, academic excellence and strong work ethics. We are all trying to reach the self-actualization level of Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. We should teach our children that there is nothing we can’t do when we are united as “One Nation, Under God.” 

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels? 

    We must come to terms with how disruptive the pandemic was to our lives. This resulted in all types of waivers for students and schools, including SAT and other standardized tests and federal education waivers that allowed states to determine how to hold schools accountable under our No Child Left Behind law. We will need patience and a focus on parental involvement and academic excellence for test scores to reach pre-pandemic levels. 

    How do you feel about Carmel Clay Schools’ efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made? 

    Our voters approved the safety referendum that resulted in a school resource officer in every school. We should be careful about being gripped with fear. We live in a safe city. I am unaware of any reports of parents harming children in schools. We should continue to allow parents, grandparents and guardians to safely visit our schools. 

    What nonprofit, social clubs, volunteer groups, PACs or other organizations are you involved with? 

    In the past, I coached for Indiana Fire Juniors and Carmel Dads’ Club. My volunteer experience includes volunteering for Hoosier Veteran Assistance Foundation, Gleaners Food Bank, Keep Indianapolis Beautiful, the TOPSoccer program for disabled athletes, and the Special Olympics Indiana bocce ball tournament.

    Has your campaign received any endorsements? 

    If so, please list. I am running an independent campaign aimed at bringing everyone together. It is better not to receive endorsements from partisan or political groups.

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    I have a diverse palate and love exploring new restaurants with my family. My favorite restaurants include Texas Roadhouse, Buffalo Wild Wings, Olive Garden, Jamaican Reggae Grill, Amber Indian Restaurant, Koto Japanese Steakhouse and El Rodeo 7. 

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I am very empathetic, and I want to work with our community to create a PTO-type support group for families navigating the special education system. I want our community to link arms around them, so they know they are not alone. I want to look back four years from now, having succeeded for these families. 

  • Jenny Brake

    Age: 65   

    Education: Educated in Carmel from elementary to graduation (1975), Indiana University and John Herron School of Art (1975-1980)   

    Occupation: Previously an administrator of a local homebuilding business, then director of guest services at a large local church until 2020.   

    Length of time in district: Since 1978

    Immediate family: Husband, Ron (also a Carmel High School graduate), and two adult children. My daughter and her husband are raising their children in Carmel.   

    Previous political experience):  I was a State Convention Delegate in both 2020 and 2022.   

    Website: ccsboardcandidates.com 

    Why do you want to run for school board?

    I have a grandson (from Haiti) who is a freshman at Carmel High School. I deeply care that he is learning to his full potential, excels in academics, flourishes in his athletic, literacy and art skills.  

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    I strive to be a good listener and I always approach problem-solving by seeking to be proactive rather than reactive. Living in Carmel for nearly 60 years, I have personally experienced the highly regarded tradition of excellence in the Carmel community and the school system. My plan is to ensure that those traditions and values are promoted and protected.      

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on? 

    1. Transparency of all policies, programs and curriculum 
    2. Academic Excellence to improve proficiency scores 
    3. Parents’ rights in education 

    What do you see as strengths at Carmel Clay Schools? 

    The families in the Carmel community are the biggest asset to the school system, along with the rich history of academic and athletic excellence and the district’s efforts to ensure the physical safety of all students.     

    What do you see as areas of improvement at Carmel Clay Schools?  

    We need:     

    1. Purposeful recommitment to those traditions and values that have made Carmel Clay Schools great. 
    2. Preservation of the excellence that placed CCS as a leading model for other schools to emulate.    
    3. Prevention and avoidance in following other schools who may have embraced “group identities” often at the cost of sacrificing a successful time- tested foundational curriculum.   

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters?    

    Carmel students are better served when valued as an individual American, not relegated to a political ideology or a collective group identity based on ethnicity, race or gender.    

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels?  

    Our test scores were slipping before the pandemic, starting in 2014-2015. This is a nationwide problem requiring complete transparency to understand where we fit on the trend line. We also need to track our recovery dollars so that we know our funds are being used effectively and responsibly.      

    How do you feel about Carmel Clay Schools’ efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made?  

    Having a school resource officer at each school brings such a confidence and assurance of safety to Carmel families. Although I appreciate the anonymous reporting app, STOPit, continued collaboration with the Carmel Police Dept. is required to ensure proper use of the app and that the associated disciplinary action is appropriate. It is unclear to the public how the $40 million dollar tax increase is being utilized outside of the SROs.    

    What nonprofit, social clubs, volunteer groups, PACs or other organizations are you involved with?

     I am currently a deacon at my church.    

    Has your campaign received any endorsements?  

    Indiana Family Action PAC  

    Something most people don’t know about you? 

    I was on Carmel High School’s first girls’ varsity high school basketball team.   

    Something you want people to know about you? 

    I have lived in Carmel since grade school days and have seen a lot of changes. Change can be positive as long as that change is tethered to its foundation so as to never pull away from the virtues, values and truth from where it originated.   

  • Age: 37

    Education: Bachelor of Science of engineering (industrial and operations engineering) – University of Michigan, Ann Arbor; Juris Doctorate – Indiana University McKinney School of Law

    Occupation: Lawyer and risk manager

    Length of time in district: 3.5 years. I’ve lived in Indiana since 2008 when I came for law school. I fell in love with Indiana and also met my husband in law school. 

    Immediate family: Husband: Andrew, Children: Michael, 6, Margot, 3

    Previous political experience: None

    Website: stephanieflittner.com

    Why do you want to run for school board? 

    I am a mother of two young children and believe that a public education based on a strong academic focus is the best choice for my children. I moved to Carmel to ensure that my children have a great public education. I have a long-term interest in the success of our school district and am troubled by the shift in focus from education to politics. 

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    • Lawyer
    • Engineer
    • Risk manager
    • Public school educated
    • Mom of two young children, one currently in CCS, one future CCS student
    • President of the Junior League of Indianapolis
    • Experienced nonprofit and corporate board member

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    • Strong academics
    • Fiscal responsibility
    • Safety

    What do you see as strengths at Carmel Clay Schools? 

    CCS is a top system in Indiana. We are where the best of the best come to be among the best. Whether it’s sports, academics, or arts – we attract the top talent and develop them into the best they can be. We also do an outstanding job of identifying students that struggle and providing resources to help them succeed. 

    What do you see as areas of improvement at Carmel Clay Schools? 

    Most parents I’ve talked with are eager for more communication and more opportunities to be involved in their child’s education. We should consider bringing back school board liaisons for each school – this might help parents and teachers feel heard. There is a lot of suspicion around school boards in our country right now and Carmel needs to set the example for putting children at the center of every decision and involving parents and community members to enhance student learning. Carmel should avoid becoming the subject of national news and focus on strong academics. 

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity, and inclusion matters? 

    All children in Carmel Clay Schools deserve a safe and nonthreatening learning environment. If we fail to educate our children about diversity, they will be unprepared for the global world we live in. I am pro-diversity education and pro-teaching about respect and inclusion of others. I am troubled by the confusion between teaching about diversity and CRT. As a parent and community member, I am against CRT in schools because I believe that children should not be told what they will become or who they are due to any demographic factor. I do not believe that any minority child should be taught that society is rigged against them, and I do not believe that my own children should be taught that they are oppressors. I do believe that students benefit from learning about diverse views and ways of thinking. Children should be taught critical thinking skills so that they can make up their own minds. Teach children how to think, not what to think. 

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels? 

    We must keep our students learning in person and make the focus of our school strong academics. Teaching math, science, history and language arts must be the first focus of our school system. Teachers must be viewed as partners by parents. We should support our teachers and supplement these basics at home. Public schools should not be used to push any political agendas – they should be a place where students learn the basics to become successful adults. 

    How do you feel about Carmel Clay Schools’ efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made? 

    I am thrilled that every school in Carmel has an assigned school resource officer! This is a fantastic step forward. I’d also like to see metal detectors in every school and better perimeter security. Mental health is a key component of school safety – but parents need to be a part of mental health services and must be partners in mental health interventions and support. I also think every student should have bus service made available to them. Currently students who live within 1 mile of their assigned school are not offered bus service. I can tell you firsthand that my first grader cannot safely get to school on his own without a bus. 

    What nonprofit, social clubs, volunteer groups, PACs or other organizations are you involved with?  

    • I am the president of the Junior League of Indianapolis
    • I serve on the Indiana Wish board of directors
    • I am a member of the Hamilton County Republican Women’s Club
    • My son plays Carmel Dads’ Club sports and my husband, and I regularly sponsor CDC teams

    Has your campaign received any endorsements? If so, please list. 

    No. I question whether we should allow candidates in a nonpartisan election to receive endorsements or money from political parties or political action committees. Is this what’s best for our kids? 

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    I have dual citizenship! My mother was born in Canada and immigrated to the U.S. at age 4. I was born in Michigan, but also have Canadian citizenship due to my mother’s birthplace. While I am very proud of my grandparents who achieved the American dream and became citizens, I am not looking to move to Canada! 

    Something you want people to know about you?

    Voters, please do not make this a one-issue election focused only on CRT. I urge everyone to remember that the winners of this election have a very important job to do – we are responsible for establishing the policies of CCS and evaluating our superintendent. CRT is only one issue, and I will do my best to monitor and encourage policies that deter CRT in our schools. Most of this role is setting and evaluating policies that are not related to CRT but are vitally important to the success of our students and our district. Please put our #kidsfirst and take the politics out of this non-partisan election.

  • Kristin L. Kouka

    Age: 43

    Education: Bachelor of Arts in speech pathology and audiology from Ball State University, master of arts in speech-language pathology from Ohio State University

    Occupation: Pediatric speech-language pathologist

    Length of time in district: More than three years (we lived in District 2 for 12 years) 

    Immediate family: Husband, Eric; Sons: Liam, Davis, Ben

    Previous political experience: N/A

    Website: kristinforcarmel.com

    Why do you want to run for school board? 

    I firmly believe in public education and serving in my community. My parents were public school teachers, and I am a product of a public school education. Both my grandfather and father were on my hometown school board. I want to ensure that CCS continues to be one of the best schools in the state and country.

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    I am a mom with two sons attending Carmel Clay Schools. I have previously worked in schools (IPS) and I work with children/students and their families every day. I am a successful small business owner in the Carmel community, and I understand what it takes to manage a budget, make decisions that affect a diverse group of people, and how to work together as part of a team.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on? 

    My campaign is focused on the issues that have come up over and over again in the Carmel community. The first is communication. Many community stakeholders would like to see better communication from CCS on such issues as curriculum, diversity and safety. The second focus of my campaign is on students, that each student at CCS deserves to have the individual level of support in order to be successful in the classroom. The third issue is school safety. CCS must continue to make the necessary changes and evolve to keep our children safe. 

    What do you see as strengths at Carmel Clay Schools? 

    CCS has excellent, top-rated schools. The teachers at CCS genuinely care about each student and want to see students succeed. Our schools have active Parent Teacher Organizations that help to create family-like environments, especially at the elementary school level. Programming like performing arts and AVID offer enrichment beyond standard academics to help prepare students for life beyond the classroom. CCS has school resource officers at every single school to keep our students safe. These SROs form relationships with students and are integral parts to each school.

    What do you see as areas of improvement at Carmel Clay Schools? 

    Community members have expressed that communication from CCS could be more clear. CCS has curriculum information, its strategic plan and other resources available to the public, but parents and Carmel residents seem to have limited knowledge of this content.

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters? 

    I believe we need to focus on student needs first and foremost. Students should have a safe learning environment with the level of individual support they need in order to be successful. Public school district focus on equity should be within the lens of understanding that equity is equal treatment of all, but that the treatment must be differentiated for each student. CCS hired Terri Roberts-Leonard for this purpose and she is guiding the district through this process.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels? 

    Standardized test scores are not always the best indicators of what students have learned. Too many variables influence each student’s test-taking abilities and results. Raising test score levels after a global pandemic and major interruptions to in-person learning and life at home will require flexibility, a focus on retaining and hiring the most qualified teachers and restoring trust to let teachers do their work to the best of their abilities.

    How do you feel about Carmel Clay Schools’ efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made? 

    CCS is working closely with Carmel police and has stepped up to focus on school safety in recent years. We now have highly trained school resource officers in every single school. CCS has established itself as a leader in school safety efforts and I hope we continue to adjust and make improvements.

    What nonprofit, social clubs, volunteer groups, PACs or other organizations are you involved with?  

    I have volunteered with Gigi’s Playhouse for multiple events, including their 3.21 Fun Run and gala. At Carmel Elementary, I served in the media center and as chairperson of the Maker Space area. I actively volunteer at my church, St. Luke’s United Methodist, in their Kids Ministry and Special Needs Ministry.

    Has your campaign received any endorsements? 

    If so, please list. I have been endorsed by the Support CCS PAC.

    Something most people don’t know about you? 

    I was in 4-H growing up and sewed many clothing items for myself. 

    Something you want people to know about you? 

    I am ready to serve as your District 1 school board member. I will listen to the concerns, questions, and celebrations of the entire Carmel community. I am a critical thinker and problem solver who is level-headed and logical.

Carmel Clay School Board 2

Incumbent Jennifer Nelson-Williams is facing a challenge from Adam Sharp and Lori B. Long for the District 2 seat on the Carmel Clay Schools board of trustees. The district encompasses all of Carmel between Main Street and 116th Street and northwest Carmel west of Ditch Road. The ballot will include Districts 1, 2 and 3 on the Carmel Clay Schools board of trustees. Carmel voters cast votes in all three races.

  • Lori Long

    Age: 46

    Education: Bachelor’s degree, Trinity International University, elementary education

    Occupation: Client vice president at Key Benefit Administrator

    Length of time in district: 4 years 

    Immediate family: 1 daughter attending Clay Middle School 

    Previous political experience: None

    Website: lorilongforschoolboard22.weebly.com

    Why do you want to run for school board? 

    I want to use my years of experience as an educator, instructional coach and school administrator to be an advocate for students, teachers, staff and parents. I will work diligently to protect students and parental rights by bringing a focus to supporting all students on their educational journey. Ensuring that there is a spotlight on career pathways, adding needed additional support to teachers as they provide the highest level of instruction with ongoing professional development for all staff. 

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    As an educator, I taught first, fifth, high school language arts, was an instructional coach through a program called PBS: RtI (Response to intervention) training teachers on the skills for how to use students test data to drive instruction. I have also been a preschool and daycare administrator. I have sat on numerous boards supporting nonprofits. I also worked for EmployIndy, the governor’s workforce development board as the associate director of the Business Solutions team. 

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on? 

    Teacher and administration support and accountability; focusing on appropriate age-specific, academically based curriculum, protecting students from exposure to inappropriate agenda-based curriculum, and ensuring student’s future pathways are supported for all students, college-bound or trades-based careers. 

    What do you see as strengths at Carmel Clay Schools? 

    I see our curriculum as a strength. My daughter has been challenged and improved significantly as a student. We have incredible teachers, administrators and tremendously talented students. Our cultural diversity is also a strength.

    What do you see as areas of improvement at Carmel Clay Schools? 

    I want to dive deeper into how all students are supported as individual learners. It is essential to students’ ongoing success and yearly academic growth that they don’t have skill gaps. Additionally, mental health is an international crisis for students. We need to support our students as they navigate not only their academic growth but manage the stress and expectations as they grow. 

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters? 

    I answered this extensively and posted it on my campaign website. As a seasoned educator, this question includes, for me, all student needs. Not focusing on one aspect, but the whole student; gender and sexual orientation and diversity in children and adolescence, understanding ethnic and racial disparities in education, the entirety of the autism spectrum and effective behavioral interventions, as well as insuring that teachers are trained and prepared for all students with special needs in inclusive classrooms; increased training to create truly inclusive classrooms through evidence-based practices and hands-on strategies and be properly equipped to do so effectively at the teacher and para level as we support all learners.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels? 

    It is critical to train teachers on how to use student’s test data to drive their instruction. If teachers do not clearly understand this process nor how to look at data and modify their instructional strategies as they present mandated curriculum, it will never improve as we all want it to. When I worked as a first-grade teacher (in Florida), we went through this process at the micro level. We were an F school that in one academic year with deep intentional training for our teachers and staff moved to a B the next school year. 

    How do you feel about Carmel Clay Schools’ efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made? 

    I am incredibly impressed with the dedication to have officers in all schools, I want that to remain. I also am a huge advocate for the STOP IT app. My daughter has used it and the response was immediate. 

    What nonprofit, social clubs, volunteer groups, PACs or other organizations are you involved with?  

    I have not had the opportunity of joining any since moving to Carmel. We were blessed to move here after I discovered it and researched Carmel, falling in love with everything Carmel has to offer, then COVID-19 came upon us. Now that I can, I’m eager to get involved as much as I can! Previously I’ve been involved with Big Brothers Big Sisters, Central Florida Speech and Hearing, and many others. I helped start a clothing and shoe closet at our school as well as a Thanksgiving food drive. 

    Has your campaign received any endorsements? 

    I have not sought endorsements for my campaign.

    Something most people don’t know about you? 

    My father was a West Point Graduate class of ’71. I was blessed to be the daughter of a career military officer. I lived all over the US and am a fiercely proud supporter of our current military and our incredible veterans. 

    Something you want people to know about you? 

    I’m a single mom of an incredible daughter. I am passionately invested in the successful journey of all students. I’m deeply invested in my former students, my daughter’s fellow students as well as her specific future as a citizen of this nation. 

  • Jennifer Nelson-Williams

    Age: 55

    Education: Bachelor’s degree in psychology, graduate course work in marriage and family therapy and an associate degree in mortuary science

    Occupation: CEO and president of Aaron-Ruben-Nelson Funeral Home in Carmel

    Length of time in district: 18 years 

    Immediate family: My partner, Josh Kirsh; son, Ari Williams; daughter, Lindsay Williams; and stepson, Holden Kirsh, who attends Carmel Elementary School

    Website: Facebook.com/NelsonWilliamsCCS 

    Previous political experience: I am currently a Carmel Clay school board member, serving District 2

    Why do you want to run for school board? 

    The schools are an integral part of the success of our community. As a resident, business owner and community supporter, I have a vested interest in the community being welcoming, inclusive and enriching to our future leaders.

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    Vast business knowledge from 32 years as a CEO and president of a family-owned business. Additionally, I have raised two children who attended Carmel schools.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on? 

    School safety, global preparedness for success of our students and increased opportunities for technical and skill specific training in our high school curriculum

    What do you see as strengths at Carmel Clay Schools? 

    The vast selection of course work and programs being offered to our students and the dynamic, smart, invested staff and administration that are there every day striving for continued excellence in education

    What do you see as areas of improvement at Carmel Clay Schools? 

    Hamilton County Schools have relied too heavily on the JEL Center at North Central. The new county-wide partnership will increase the technical and skill-specific curriculum at Carmel, improving the experience for our students.

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters? 

    Public schools should strive to ensure all students feel safe, welcome and included. Terri Roberts-Leonard, CCS’s diversity, equity and inclusion coordinator, is doing a tremendous job. I defer to her experience.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels? 

    This pandemic was a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence that this country was ill-prepared to face on many levels. It will take time to make up for the lost learning time. However, we now have improved technology, revised protocols and new innovative tools in place to ensure that all achievement gaps are bridged and eliminated. 

    How do you feel about Carmel Clay Schools’ efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made? 

    I am extremely impressed with Lt. Adam Miller, David Woodward and the entire safety team. They are engaged, knowledgeable and ahead of the curve on the latest strategies and protocols for keeping our schools safe.

    What nonprofit, social clubs, volunteer groups, PACs or other organizations are you involved with? 

    I am the co-founder of Women4Change Indiana and Ready2Run Indiana, two organizations that train, educate and encourage Hoosier women to become more engaged in our democracy.

    Has your campaign received any endorsements? 

    Endorsed by City Councilor Miles Nelson 

    Something most people don’t know about you? 

    I have a Ural motorcycle with a sidecar.

    Something you want people to know about you? 

    I am the funniest person in my family!

  • Adam Sharp

    Age: 49

    Education: BA Biology (Indiana University), MD (Tel Aviv University)

    Occupation: ER physician (Retired), entrepreneur 

    Length of time in district: 17 years 

    Immediate family: Biana (wife), Samara, Liviya and Elizah (daughters) 

    Website: ccsboardcandidates.com

    Previous political experience: None

    Why do you want to run for school board? 

    Carmel has been a wonderful community for my family, and I am fortunate to be in a position to have the time to give back. My family moved here because CCS was known for excellence. I would like to ensure this distinction continues. 

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    As an ER physician, I am comfortable in a leadership role, assessing multiple data points while making acute decisions. My business and prior board experience includes co-founding two successful companies. As an entrepreneur, I understand the intricacies of a team environment while making fiscally responsible decisions. 

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on? 

    Our campaign is focused on three pillars: academic excellence, parents’ rights and full transparency. Over the last eight years, CCS has seen a decline in academic proficiency. We believe that the foremost responsibility of CCS is to ensure that every child meets their greatest academic potential. If parents want to be involved, we want them to have access to the classrooms and lunchrooms. Parent involvement has always been a cornerstone to academic excellence in CCS. We will also remove any barriers to full transparency around curriculum. 

    What do you see as strengths at Carmel Clay Schools? 

    Having seen firsthand the dedication of my daughters’ teachers, dance coach and the administrative staff, their commitment knows no bounds. They are the heartbeat of the system, and we owe them our gratitude. Equally important are the families engaged in their children’s education. 

    What do you see as areas of improvement at Carmel Clay Schools? 

    It is critical we have a renewed focus on academic achievement. 

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters? 

    Diversity of thought and perspective should be our priority. Open and free debate have always been the hallmarks of an exceptional education in a free society. Intimidation and social shaming into silence is never acceptable. I fear that these well-intentioned initiatives inadvertently lead to the very issues they purport to be addressing and ultimately increase division and friction between our children. We believe in ‘One Carmel’ where all are welcome, and everybody has a voice. 

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels? 

    We must support our teachers and embrace parents, community members and siblings to join in the education effort. We would also like to leverage the expertise of our teachers and assemble an academic excellence task force. Teachers are on the frontlines and can provide valuable insight.

    How do you feel about Carmel Clay Schools’ efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made? 

    The taxpayers of this community voted for a safety referendum which was $40 million dollars over eight years. Having an SRO in every school is a great achievement. But what is concerning is that these funds have also been allocated to diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives and other programs in the name of “safety.” I do not think our citizens necessarily had DEI initiatives in mind when they voted to pay higher taxes. 

    What nonprofit, social clubs, volunteer groups, PACs or other organizations are you involved with? 

    I have enjoyed coaching soccer for Carmel Dads’ Club. My preferred charities are Meals on Wheels and the Pediatric Orthopedic Project. In Israel I support a charity that provides PTSD care for soldiers through meditation and yoga as well as an innovative EMS organization. 

    Has your campaign received any endorsements?

    I have been endorsed by the Indiana Family Action PAC. 

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    I love the outdoors. Hiking is my favorite pastime. I also care deeply about Israel and visit there often. 

    Something you want people to know about you?

    My priorities and values came from my immigrant parents. They raised us to value the opportunities that America affords anybody who works hard. 

Carmel Clay School Board 3

The general election is set for Nov. 8. The ballot will include Districts 1, 2 and 3 on the Carmel Clay Schools board of trustees. Carmel voters cast votes in all three races.

  • Greg Brown

    Age: 67

    Education: BA operations management/finance from California State University; MS Management Info Systems from Claremont Grad University 

    Occupation: IT management (retired)

    Time resided in district: 28 Years

    Immediate family: Wife, son, daughter-in-law, granddaughter; all living in Carmel

    Website: ccsboardcandidates.com

    Previous political experience: None

    Why do you want to run for school board? 

    The Carmel Clay School district has been the premier district in Indiana for many years. We moved to Carmel 28 years ago for this reason. Our proficiency scores are now below 70 percent. Families that have the resources are seeking alternative schools. Schools across our country have lost focus on academic excellence. I want to help our schools not only be the best in Indiana, but be an example to the rest of the nation. I want CCS to be the best option for our granddaughter!

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    I have worked in management roles from IT to business unit in medium- and large-scale manufacturing companies. I have led a Carmel Boy Scout troop as Scoutmaster and have tutored disadvantaged students in Nora. My goal is to work with the CCS administration to develop specific goals and actions to set us on an upward trajectory toward high proficiency scores.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    Academic excellence, parents’ rights and to institute a culture of transparency.

    What do you see as strengths at Carmel Clay Schools? 

    CCS has built a legacy of excellence. When our son attended Carmel schools, his teachers collaborated with us to ensure he was able to reach his full potential. CCS recently wisely reinstated parent-teacher conferences after removing them a number of years ago. The recent emphasis on providing differentiated learning opportunities will ensure our students have an equal opportunity to succeed. I encountered the need for this when I tutored disadvantaged students who benefited from different learning approaches than were used for the majority of the class.

    What do you see as areas of improvement at Carmel Clay Schools? 

    CCS must address, with top priority, academic excellence. I reviewed the School Improvement Plans for 2019-22 and see more focus on DEI/SEL than on academics. For example, in its School Improvement Plan, Carmel High School designated six “Critical Initiatives.” All six were on DEI/SEL. Not one was designed to improve academic excellence. 

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters? 

    DEI is a controversial label that has led to discord and mistrust. The doors of opportunity must be open to all students in our diverse city to achieve their highest potential. I fully support our schools being fully inclusive. This must include acceptance of our differing values and opinions. We need to find common ground and solutions that work for all. Our schools must provide equal opportunities for the most challenged, the most gifted, and all students across the spectrum. The domain for our schools is education. Values belong in the domain of the family.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels? 

    CCS proficiency scores have declined since 2014. This occurred within the ISTEP testing years, and now our ILEARN scores are below 70 percent. We must focus on academic excellence as the top priority. We must optimize our classrooms. If elected I will make sure the allocation of budgets does not compromise the needs of our classrooms. We need published benchmarks to make sure we are clear on the goals and can effectively measure progress.

    How do you feel about Carmel Clay Schools’ efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made? 

    CCS has taken physical safety seriously and is to be commended. Sadly, mental health has become a growing issue for our schools. We need to address not only the symptoms of those who are struggling but also the root causes of their issues. I am also concerned with data privacy, particularly regarding survey and student data. CCS has recently created a data privacy policy in response to parents’ voiced concern. My background in IT management gives me the knowledge to strengthen privacy protections. 

    What nonprofit, social clubs, volunteer groups, PACs or other organizations are you involved with? 

    I am very active in my church; this is where I focus most of my volunteer time. I am not involved with any PAC but have been endorsed by the Indiana Family Action PAC. They chose to endorse me because of my belief that the family is the key institution of a healthy society presently and in the future.

    Has your campaign received any endorsements? 

    See above.

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    I have attended most CCS board meetings since December 2021, studied the 2019-22 School Improvement Plans and reviewed several CCS bylaws. I have learned that to effectively make improvements, we must fully understand all details of issues and policies, set attainable benchmarks, and responsibly execute plans.

    Something you want people to know about you?

    My desire is that my faith will drive me to work honestly, diligently, and harmoniously with my fellow board members and the CCS administration for excellent academic opportunities for all CCS students!

  • Jake Nichols

    Age: 45

    Education: BS Purdue University Elementary Education, MSM (management ) at IWU 

    Occupation: Director of corporate operations in a family truck dealership (IT, marketing, risk and human resources)

    Time resided in district: 13 years 

    Immediate family: My wife, Amy, and three daughters who attend Carmel Clay Schools 

    Website: Jakeisrunning.com

    Previous political experience: None 

    Why do you want to run for school board? 

    I am running for school board because I care about all of Carmel’s children. Their current and future success makes our community better. Carmel Clay Schools have served our girls well throughout their educational careers and I want to sustain their efforts. I am supportive of the overall direction of the district and its focus on its strategic plan and guiding principles.

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    I am a devoted and dedicated father, a former teacher and an HR professional, all of which provide essential perspectives for the school board. My early career was as an elementary teacher, and my passion for the classroom continues to be part of who I am. Having a current parent on the school board ensures that our community has someone advocating for their children who understands what is occurring in the schools. Additionally, my professional career in a family-run business for 22 years demonstrates my consistency and devotion to my work. 

    What are the top 3 issues that your campaign will focus on?

    I will focus on those issues tasked explicitly to a school board member. 

    • Ensuring that financial resources meet the current obligations and the plan for strategic growth of the school system
    • Reviewing school policies to assess alignment with the guiding principles of the school district 
    • Listening to educational experts while asking in-depth questions and pushing for community alignment

    What do you see as strengths at Carmel Clay Schools? 

    • Fact and data-based decision-making to do what is best for all of our children
    • Great leaders and teachers steeped in research-based educational pedagogy
    • Student-centered instruction that has a history of great success as a top school district in the state and nation
    • Strong financial practices 

    What do you see as areas of improvement at Carmel Clay Schools? 

    While Carmel Clay Schools is an excellent school system, it, of course, has areas for improvement. The school system can provide more specific information on its funding and budgets, making this information easily accessible and transparent to the community. CCS can better demonstrate how their spending impacts the community’s tax dollars. While they provide this information from time to time, more effective communication with the community is necessary. 

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters? 

    The district has been a good model for how schools should help students learn about people from different backgrounds and perspectives. While we as parents continue to raise compassionate kids with solid leadership qualities at home as our children’s most influential teachers, CCS has been a great partner in this work. I fully support Carmel Clay Schools DEI initiatives and their efforts to teach students global citizenship.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels? 

    It will take time to get to pre-pandemic levels, but Carmel Clay Schools has always led the way in academic excellence and will continue to do so. CCS’s focus on a standards-based curriculum and high-quality instruction will undoubtedly get our students back on track. As parents, we can partner with the school system, which includes evenings around the dining table to support our children’s academic success after such a tumultuous few years. 

    How do you feel about Carmel Clay Schools’ efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made? 

    Our community came together and demonstrated our values, becoming one of the first to provide additional funding from the safety referendum. Carmel Clay Schools has implemented new safety standards in our schools and the administration and SROs have worked together to ensure the safety of our children. As I drop my daughter off in the morning and see the officer greet students, I am reassured that our children are safe.

    What nonprofit, social clubs, volunteer groups, PACs or other organizations are you involved with? 

    I am an active member of St Luke’s United Methodist Church. Professionally, I am part of the Indiana Motor Truck Association and the Auto Dealers Association. 

    Has your campaign received any endorsements? 

    Support CCS has endorsed my campaign (supportccs.org). Support CCS is a fantastic group of local parents and community members who established the PAC to assist school board candidates who support students, teachers and the current overall direction of the district. Our goals and vision were aligned, and after a comprehensive application and interview process Support CCS decided to endorse my campaign. As the District 3 candidate, I am running on a slate with Kristin Kouka in District 1 and current school board member Jennifer Nelson-Williams who represents District 2. 

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    A fun fact is that I was Purdue Pete and continued to bring the energy to events! 

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I would be humbled to serve as one of the five board members. I want to bring the values of listening, learning, and encouragement to the board.

Hamilton Southeastern School Board District 1

Brad Boyer, Edward Gedeon, Jackie Howell and Tiffany Pascoe are vying for the Hamilton Southeastern School Board District 1 seat. District 1 encompasses the northeastern part of the district.  Pascoe did not respond to Current’s request to fill out the questionnaire upon time of publication.

  • Brad Boyer

    Age: 54

    Education: B.A. Economics, MBA, J.D.

    Occupation: Business owner

    City of residence: Fishers

    How long have you resided in your school board district:  Eighteen years

    Immediate family: Heidi (wife), Rachel (age 21), Mackenzie (age 19), Caleb (age 17)

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you:  Contact me by email at bboyer@watermarkeps.com or phone at 317-223-8552.

    Previous political experience: HSE School Board

    Why do you want to run for school board? 

    I want to have the opportunity to improve the academic record and restore trust and excellence in our school system.  We have gotten derailed by nonacademic issues like COVID, SEL, DEI and other secondary issues that seem to be of primary importance.  These may be and can be important, but they need to be secondary.  Our primary focus should be academics and holding ourselves to high standards.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

     I am a lifelong learner, a product of public education, a business owner, an experienced school board member and a child of an educator.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on? 

    Academics, academics, academics.

    What do you see as strengths at Hamilton Southeastern Schools?

    Dedication of our teachers and staff and the breadth of opportunities (courses, clubs, experiential learning, etc.).  

    What do you see as areas of improvement at Hamilton Southeastern Schools? 

    We need to make sure that our parents are involved.  The school cannot educate the children alone.  It can start at school, but it needs to be finished at home.  Students are only in class 30 hours per week (out of 168 hours).  We need to strengthen our ‘core’ which includes math, science, history, English and fine arts.  The breadth of opportunities can sometimes cause us to lose site of the core.

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters? 

    We should focus on the ‘Fruits of the Spirit’.  If we could do that, our DEI matters would all be resolved, and we would not need to spend a second of time or a dime of money.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels?

    We will continue to emphasize and place a high priority on academic excellence.  We will continue to use all available resources and funding to enhance the performance of all students, especially those that are the most vulnerable.

    How do you feel about Hamilton Southeastern Schools’ efforts to address student safety?

    What changes, if any, would you like to see made?   We continually focus on safety and will do so.  Safety is a consideration in every action taken or decision made.  We recently hired a ‘chief safety officer’.   We will continue to partner with our SROs and both the Fishers and Noblesville police departments.

  • Edward A. Gedeon

    Age:  65

    Education: BSEE Purdue, 1979; MBA Indiana University (Kokomo) 2001

    Occupation: Former software engineer, retired

    City of residence: Fishers

    How long have you resided in your school board district: One year

    Immediate family: Cynthia (wife), Alfredo and Doris (parents), Elizabeth (sister)

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you: email eagedeon@yahoo.com

    Previous political experience: None

    Why do you want to run for school board? 

    I am concerned about attacks on education taking place around our country.  Rumor and disinformation are passed off as facts, funding for education is being restricted, and important books are being banned.

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    Both of my parents were teachers, so I understand the importance of education leading to success in later life.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    • Student safety and health
    • Support for diversity
    • Rebuttal of misinformation

    What do you see as strengths at Hamilton Southeastern Schools? 

    Support of diversity, and a varied curriculum so that students can prepare for their chosen path in life.

    What do you see as areas of improvement at Hamilton Southeastern Schools? 

    (Did not answer)

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters? 

    Students do better in life when exposed to a diverse, multicultural environment.  Also, especially in their teen years, young people are learning who they are.  Very often, they may feel out of place, or isolated.  All students need to know that they are supported, encouraged, and protected.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels? 

    We need to get students back in the classrooms.  To do this, we need to stress vaccination for all students, teachers and staff.  Also, maintain strict cleaning practices throughout the schools.

    How do you feel about Hamilton Southeastern Schools’ efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made? 

    (Did not answer)

  • Jackie Howell

    Age: 42 

    Education: MA Counseling Psychology, Ball State University;  MA Higher Education, Ball State University

    Occupation: Therapist

    City of residence: Fishers 

    How long have you resided in your school board district: Fifteen years 

    Immediate family:  James: Husband, children: Parker, Fishers Junior High and Evelyn, Sand Creek Intermediate 

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you: jackieh4hse1.weebly.com

    Previous political experience: None

    Why do you want to run for school board?

    First, I am a proud HSE parent who wants to see continued excellence from our district.  My time in the district, as a parent volunteer, has made me aware of strengths and challenges. I want to be an advocate for all students and staff as we address these needs.  I want to ensure a safe learning environment for our students. 

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    As a licensed mental health counselor, I bring 20 years of experience and am cognizant of the needs of students. In additional to clinical work, I have managed grant funded program budgets and am knowledgeable with program evaluation.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    The health and safety of all students via a mental health program expansion, pre-K education and teacher retention.

    What do you see as strengths at Hamilton Southeastern Schools?

    Respected educators and administration, range of immersive opportunities offered for students, and strong community partnerships.

    What do you see as areas of improvement at Hamilton Southeastern Schools?

    Expansion of pre-K education, diversity of staff, and development of a true feeder system.

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters?

    DEI should be interwoven into policy, practice and education.  The district is composed of so many viewpoints in terms of gender, culture and race, each need represented and heard. 

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels?

    Standardized tests are only one way to measure student success.  Data from recent ILEARN at HSE shows overall improvement and proficiency. This included an increase in all demographics. Any subset that needed attention has action areas created. 

    How do you feel about Hamilton Southeastern Schools’ efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made?

    HSE is fortunate to have excellent School Resource Officers and a strong partnership with the Fishers Police. I would like to see prevention programs expanded for all staff. 

  • Age: 37

    Education: BA from Marian College (now Marian University)

    Occupation: Key Account Manager

    City of residence: Noblesville (split district with Fishers HSE schools)

    How long have you resided in your school board district? 11 years

    Immediate family: Joshua Pascoe (39)

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you: Web page: pascoe4hse.nationbuilder.com or email Pascoe4hse@gmail.com

    Previous political experience: 

    Republican Precinct Committeeman, Republican State Delegate, Hamilton County Council appointee to Hamilton County Tourism Commission, and I ran previously for HSE School Board for Wayne Township.

    Why do you want to run for school board? 

    I want to run for school board to be a voice for the parents, guardians, and taxpayers. It is my mission to return our schools focus back to academic excellence and to create trust, and transparency. Core curriculum academics comes first and should be the number one priority. 

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    My qualifications are (but are not limited to) that I am a member of the community, I am a taxer payer, and have common sense conservative values. 

    What are the top 3 issues that your campaign will focus on? 

    The top 3 issues my campaign will focus on are return to academic excellence, fiscal conservatism, and parental rights.

    What do you see as strengths at Hamilton Southeastern Schools? 

    Strengths of Hamilton Southeastern Schools encompass (but are not limited to) our teachers, staff, and extracurricular activities for our youth. 

    What do you see as areas of improvement at Hamilton Southeastern Schools? 

    Areas for improvement within HSE is returning our schools focus back to academic excellence, trust and transparency within the community, and fiscal conservatism.

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters? 

    The Golden Rule. Treat others how you would like to be treated and have leadership that also embodies those characteristics.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels? 

    We would have to go backs about 8 years before the pandemic to get back on track to where our community wants our students test scores to be, and then commit and hold those accountable to sticking to the same measurements across all classrooms/grade levels. We would also have to not give repercussions to teachers for giving a failing grade to a student who did not earn or achieve a passing grade. We must support our teachers to do what they do, teach, and meet the child where they are!

    How do you feel about Hamilton Southeastern Schools’ efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made? 

    There is a direct correlation with safety in the community and how well a child is engaged in the classroom. If we do not support our children and 1st responders and make that message clear, how can we expect safety? I would like to dig deeper on this topic with our students, teachers, and voters to accurately respond.

    What nonprofit, social clubs, volunteer groups, PACs or other organizations are you involved with?

    • Youth Assistance Program, Step Up Tutor
    • Fishers Arts Council, Volunteer
    • Meals on Wheels, Volunteer
    • Third Phase, Volunteer
    • Indianapolis Zoo Council, Member
    • Indiana Federation of Republican Women, Member 
    • Riverview Health’s committee of Riverview Women of Vision, Volunteer
    • Hamilton County GOP, Volunteer

    Has your campaign received any endorsements? If so, please list. 

    Yes, by the Hamilton County GOP, the Central Indiana Coalition of Conservatives, and Fishers One currently. 

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    I was adopted 4 days before starting high school in Hamilton County due to its rigorous academic standards and rankings. I am also a huge house plant enthusiast!

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I do not believe politics belong in the classroom, but I am VERY transparent about where I am politically (our voters and community DESERVE to know this). You can count on me to help get our schools back on track and to restore trust and transparency between our schools and our community!

Hamilton Southeastern School Board District 2

Hamilton Southeastern School Board District 3

Hamilton Southeastern School Board District 4

Noblesville School Board At-Large

Candidates Joe Forgey, Chuck Haberman, Melba Kiser, Brian Laskey and Misti Ray are all vying for the seat. Forgey, who currently serves as school board president, is seeking another term and was first elected in November 2018. 

  • Dr. Joe Forgey

    Age: 74 

    Education: Doctor of Dental Surgery, Indiana University; B.S. Biology, Butler University

    Occupation: Retired Pediatric Dentistry of Noblesville 

    City of residence: Noblesville

    How long have you resided in your school board district: Forty-five years

    Immediate family: Widowed, Cynthia Forgey; five adult children (Jennifer Jarrett, Kentfield, CA; Jill Moor, Noblesville; Jay Jarrett, Westfield; Jordan Huffman, Noblesville; Casey Jarrett, Carmel) ;13 grandchildren (five attend Noblesville Schools, 1 NHS graduate)

     Website or best way for voters to learn more about you: Facebook page Joe Forgey for Noblesville School Board

    Previous political experience: Four years Board of School Trustees Noblesville Schools, two years board president 

    Why do you want to run for school board?

    I have lived and worked as a pediatric dentist in Noblesville for 45 years. My five children attended Noblesville Schools, and five of my grandchildren are current Noblesville students. I want my grandchildren to have the same great learning experience that my children received at Noblesville.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I have 45 years of experience working with children and parents in our community both inside and outside of our schools. During this time, I have served in many capacities including dental health guest lecturer and career fair participant. I also served on the Miller Backers and Miller Ambassadors. I was an assistant NHS girls soccer coach and on various other committees as needed. Most recently as School Board President I led the search for our new superintendent, Dr. Dan Hile. I am a guest lecturer at Butler University School of Education on school board practices. The relationships I have with other school board presidents and school administrators in our county, plus my relationships with community leaders would be put to good use.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    Our teachers are the backbone of Noblesville Schools. Recruiting and retaining the very best for our student learning is my top priority.

    To maintain strong learning schools must be funded. This comes from the state legislature and local funds. From my position on the board I will continue to watch over funds judiciously to minimize the impact to taxpayers. Strong schools make for a strong community.

    My third issue is helping to implement the Hamilton County Center for Career Achievement (an agreement between all six Hamilton County school corporations to provide career and vocational training to students in the county).

    What do you see as strengths at the district?

    Noblesville Schools is an “A” district as rated by the Indiana Department of Education.

    We have been recognized in the top 1% nationally for our science, technology, engineering, math (STEM) curriculum. Noblesville High School has been named to the national Advanced Placement (AP) Honor Roll. Our graduates are among the highest scholarship ($6.3 million in 2022) and advanced college credit earners in the state. NHS has the largest internship program in the state and has been named a top advanced manufacturing education partner. 

    What do you see as areas of improvement at the district?

    To provide career and vocational training by implementing the Hamilton County Center for Career Achievement.  

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels?

    We are already seeing a rebound from the pre-pandemic test scores. The federal funds that Noblesville received have been used to provide additional learning time for targeted areas that fell behind due to the pandemic. 

    How do you feel about the district’s efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made?

    On my watch, Noblesville Schools has implemented over 50 new safety measures to protect our students and employees. We currently have a student resource officer in all 10 of our schools. The district has an extensive safety protocol that is not made public for security reasons. We continually look at best practices in school safety as they continue to evolve.  

    Something you want people to know about you

    My life’s mission in my professional and personal life is to make a difference in the life of a child.

  • Age: 38

    Education: B.S., Organizational Leadership and Supervision from IUPUI, Purdue School of Engineering and Technology; MPS, Organization Development and Change from Penn State University; Executive Certificate, Economic Development from Univ. of Oklahoma, Economic Development Institute

    Occupation: Assistant economic development director, City of Noblesville

    City of residence: Noblesville

    How long have you resided in your school board district: Six-and-a-half years

    Immediate family: Wife. Kari, daughter, Paige, and son, Connor

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you: electchuckhaberman.com

    Previous political experience: None

    Why do you want to run for school board? 

    I’m running for school board because I’m passionate about ensuring we continue to provide the best for the kids and young adults in our community. As an Economic Development professional, I know firsthand how critical our workforce is to the future of our community; every conversation begins and ends with workforce. A strong K-12 education system is the cornerstone of a solid workforce.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I feel I’m uniquely qualified for this office because of the combination of my education and professional experience. My education and experience are focused on organizations’ structures, performance, and how to plan for and implement effectively for change. The majority of my professional experience in Noblesville has been focused primarily on talent and workforce, which has placed my work interests in the nexus between education and industry. As a school board member, I’ll be able to utilize my pragmatic, analytic decision-making abilities, coupled with my strong empathetic, critical listening skills to work with the school’s administration, teachers, parents, and the community at large to ensure we continue to provide the best for our students.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    Life skills, employability and career development.

    Life skills — such as personal financial management, critical thinking, and developing healthy lifestyle habits are all skills that need to be introduced at an early age. Since moving to Noblesville, I’ve spent my entire professional career supporting workforce development in central Indiana and beyond. As a school board member, I will continue to work to provide students the opportunity to explore, understand, and engage careers. I want kids and young adults to understand they have the ability to define their own success; whether that’s through military service, college, apprenticeship, or some other training, it requires becoming a lifelong learner.

    Communication and accountability — When elected to the school board I will practice open and honest communication; listening, understanding, and being a voice for the thoughts, ideas, and concerns of the community. I will also hold myself, my peers, and the administration accountable for their performance in carrying out their duties.

    Financial stewardship — I believe a strong school system requires strategic financial planning. From the brief inside look during my Miller Ambassadors course, the school district’s community leadership program, I think Noblesville Schools has done a good job managing borrowing costs, utilizing referendum funding, and maintaining an AA+ credit rating.

    What do you see as strengths at the district?

    Outstanding academic and extracurricular programming. Many programs have been recognized across the state and country as being extraordinary. We’re also home to the state’s largest internship program.

    What do you see as areas of improvement at the district?

    I think there is a great opportunity for the district to benefit from the economic growth within the community. I also think we can continue to expand career exploration opportunities.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels?

    I think doing everything within their power to prioritize in person instruction is very important.

    How do you feel about the district’s efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made?

    I think the district has done a great job addressing student safety. In many respects, Noblesville Schools is leading the way on school safety, and continuing to monitor performance. We are one of the only districts in the state that have an officer in every building in the system.

    Something you want people to know about you

    One of my greatest qualities is my perseverance. I nearly lost the ability to walk, but I didn’t give up, kept working hard, and ended up joining the United States Marine Corps four years and 10 months after being run over by a semi-truck.

  • Melba Kiser

    Age: Not necessary

    Education: Bachelor of Science in Business with a major in management

    Occupation: Retired

    City of residence: Noblesville

    How long have you resided in your school board district: Since 2019

    Immediate family: Married to my husband for almost 40 years, one daughter, two grandchildren.

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you: Facebook.com, Melba Kiser for Noblesville School Board. KiserForSchoolBoard.Wixsite.com/KiserForSchoolBoard

    Previous political experience: I have been a precinct committeeman for the Hamilton County Republican Party since 2020.

    Why do you want to run for school board?

    My parents sacrificed everything to emigrate from Cuba. I was blessed to receive a great education and to be a part of the fabric of the United States. I want to make sure that my grandchildren, and all children, have an opportunity to receive the same quality education that I had so that they can pursue their goals and dreams.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I have over 20 years of experience working on teams with people from diverse disciplines and various functions in the organization. I feel that my experience in a team environment will serve me well to work with members of the school board as well as community members and leaders.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    Increase students’ proficiency in math and reading, especially in the elementary grades, continue pushing for legislation in our state that will improve our education system for K-12, and put kids first with age-appropriate policies that better protect their rights.

    What do you see as strengths at the district?

    The high school offers college prep courses and opportunities for college credits before graduation, as well as tech and non-traditional programs. The district offers opportunities to pursue athletics, music, and the arts. We also have the IEP program for those students who need a little more help. These are all areas of strength although we can always build upon them.

    What do you see as areas of improvement at the district?

    Communication and transparency are areas that I feel we are lacking. We have some parents, grandparents, teachers, school board members, and administration who believe that they are at odds with each other. I believe that this is from a lack of sufficient communication and transparency in how decisions are made, why they are made, and what the outcome of those decisions is.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels?

    The first thing we need to do is to help students feel safe and supported after the last couple of years of chaos. Then we can address where students are doing well and where they are falling behind. This will be different for each individual student. Developing a plan that includes the student, teacher, and parents/guardians can help each student to progress and get back on track pre-pandemic.

    How do you feel about the district’s efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made?

    I feel the district has made a good effort to address student safety with enhanced security cameras, emergency communication systems, the safety dog/handler program and other measures. I think we need to look better at protecting the kids when they are in the playgrounds at school.

    Something you want people to know about you

    I have always believed that there are at least two sides to every story, and I will serve on the school board using that philosophy. I will listen to all sides before deciding on any issue that comes up before the board.

  • Brian Laskey

    Age: 36

    Education: B.A. Political Science from Purdue University, Master of Nonprofit Management and Master Certificate in Program Management from Regis University, SPHR certified, plus other HR credentials.

    Occupation: Senior director of human resources for The Villages of Indiana, a nonprofit focused on foster care and adoption across the state.

    City of residence: Noblesville

    How long have you resided in your school board district: About 2 2/1 years

    Immediate family: My wife Stephanie, our 5-year-old son Aiden who we adopted at birth, through domestic infant adoption, and our two dachshunds Oscar and Abby.

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you:  linktr.ee/laskey4noblesvilleschools

    Previous political experience: None 

    Why do you want to run for school board?

    My son entered kindergarten this year and I felt called to support the wonderful people supporting him. They should not have to choose between doing their job or being treated with respect. They are supporting our children day in and day out, yet we underpay our teachers and subject them to name calling. We need to treat them like the professionals they are and give teachers the respect they deserve.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I have a background in nonprofit management, and currently I work at one of the largest nonprofits in the state. I was the governance chair for an arts board, in addition to also serving as the founding Board President of another nonprofit. While I have worked in nonprofits and youth service for years, I also have an extensive for-profit background and understand how to build relationships and networks there. I understand how to get things done. I have worked for medium sized regional businesses up to Fortune 50 companies.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on? 

    • Teacher pay: Noblesville is drastically lagging behind Hamilton County when it comes to peer districts in terms of teacher pay.
    • College and career readiness: We score below the state in terms of Career Readiness. We are moving forward with a new Hamilton County Career Center, but we need to engage the community
    • STEAM education: Our STEM has been ranked in the 1 percent nationally for the high school, we need to see however, our Arts programs especially our music have been just as recognized but have gotten very little. We need to ensure the arts are taken care of.

    What do you see as strengths at the district?

    I believe our biggest strength is our talented staff. We need to allow our teachers, administrators, and non-certified staff to do their jobs because they do it well. When I looked at the start of the year, our job openings we were much lower compared to peer districts.

    What do you see as areas of improvement at the district?

    I believe increasing teacher pay is an important first step. We also need to ensure that teachers have supplies they need to succeed. We have to make sure our children feel comfortable coming to school. They have to be able to be their authentic selves in the classroom because if they have to hide who they are they will be so worried about that to actually pay attention to the lesson.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels?

    Standardized tests scores are not the end all measure of student success. They are a snapshot of how a student performed on one test on one day. When we place so much focus on standardized tests that is what is taught and not actual necessary course material. We also need to acknowledge that coming out of the pandemic, our first- and second-graders are just now experiencing a real school year because they only know “Covid school.” We have to teach them how to be in school again, how to handle the rigor of full day, in person education and face to face peer interaction before we can fully tackle improving a test that the Legislature has changed year over year.

    How do you feel about the district’s efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made?

    I believe the Noblesville is one of the safest districts in the state due to our investments from our referendum. This was necessary, and needs to be maintained. What happened at NWMS can never happen again anywhere. One area of concern that was recently brought to my attention, is how vulnerable our students who walk to sand from school are. Last week at NEMS a number of students were accosted by solicitors on the sidewalk out front because it was deemed a “public” space. We need to create a “no-zone” during school hours to ensure they can get out of the school safely.

    Something you want people to know about you

    I am passionate about education and our schools. I have no other political aspirations. The school board is what I want to do because I’m committed to my son, and to your children. People running for school board are saying a lot of things, but the truth is, individually we have no power or authority. All the board’s power comes as a group. I promise you this, I will always listen and be your voice on that board.

  • Misti Ray

    Age: Candidate declined to provide

    Education: Noblesville education, state licensed Cosmetologist, state licensed Realtor/Broker.

    Occupation: Realtor of 14 years

    City of residence: Noblesville 

    How long have you resided in your school board district: Lifelong district resident

    Immediate family: Husband (Brian), three children, my parents and my in-laws all live in Noblesville

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you:  

    Previous political experience: None

    Why do you want to run for school board?

    I’m running for school board to help make a positive difference for our students and community. I want to help the district refocus on academics, help increase academic scores and see how we can better support our wonderful teachers who truly want to teach! We need to eliminate this background noise in the classroom and get back to the basics. I’m a mom, not a politician!

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I’m a Noblesville native, mom of three in my 22nd consecutive year of having a child in Noblesville Schools. As a Realtor of 14 years, I know the priority families place on school districts when searching for a home. I’ve been a substitute teacher here for 5-plus years and served on the Reading Review Committee for the district and am a Miller Ambassador 2018 graduate. I’ve served on a variety of boards such as HOA, preschool, PTO, a local youth sports organization (NEFL), taught VBS and have been a classroom volunteer on a regular basis.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on? 

    When there are several areas you want to focus on, including improving teacher workload, it’s hard to choose only three! If I must choose only three, they would be: student academic achievement, transparency, and parents’ rights 

    What do you see as strengths at the district?

    While our district is pretty amazing, a few strengths worth mentioning are staying current with the necessary technology for students and staff, offering a variety of high school classes, our community & our school district is supportive of our sports programs, we provide a variety of opportunities for everyone, we have some pretty amazing staff and teachers.

    What do you see as areas of improvement at the district?

    While our areas of strength far exceed the number of areas needing improvement, they are no less important. We need to work on ways to improve our standardized test scores, without teaching to the test, if they are to continue being a requirement. I also know we need to work on improving our communication & transparency with the community as a school administration. 

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels?

    To reach pre-pandemic test score levels, we need to stop focusing on social justice, divisive and political topics and refocus on academics. This is definitely something I would work with the other four board members and Dr. Hile to help develop a plan. I believe the standardized tests need to be reviewed with state leaders as the tests have evolved drastically over the last few years and are far more intense, even for third grade.

    How do you feel about the district’s efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made?

    While I do appreciate the safety measures in place, the district’s efforts to address safety seem to be more reactive than proactive. I think a review of all safety measures in place is needed to see what improvements would be beneficial and make the most sense. We don’t want the children to feel like they’re walking into prison, but we also need to make sure they’re safe. This might include more than the visual safety features.

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I’m not a polished politician or a politician of any kind. So, I may not always have the right words or say what you want to hear, but it will be the truth. You can always count on me to be truthful, to fight for what I believe in yet always willing to listen and discuss differences. I’m a mom who wants to help make a difference. Right now, we need to focus on education by letting the teachers teach and letting the parents parent.

Westfield Washington School Board At-Large

Candidates Patrick Fassnacht, Alan Ford and Curt Wyatt are seeking to oust incumbent Amber Willis, who has held her seat on the board since 2015. All four individuals bring different viewpoints about issues facing the district, what could be improved and why they believe they are the right person to represent constituents.

  • Patrick Fassnacht

    Age: 48

    Education: 

    • B.A. Purdue University, West Lafayette
      Art Education
    • M.A.E. Ball State University
      Educational Administration and Supervision
    • Ed.S. Oakland City University
      School Superintendency

    Occupation: Educational administration 

    City of residence: Westfield

    How long have you resided in your school board district: Twenty-five years

    Immediate family:

    • Maggie Fassnacht, wife
    • Sami Fassnacht, daughter, WHS Grad
    • Josh Fassnacht, son, WHS Grad

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you: 

    Previous political experience: None

    Why do you want to run for school board? 

    This is such a vital time in our community’s history. We continue to grow at a rapid rate and continue to react to the ever-changing landscape. The next two to three years are pivotal for WWS. The choices we have been making, and are about to make, will have such profound impacts on our children and larger community for quite some time to come. 

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    Being a teacher, principal, regional director, and director of operations in numerous settings– rural, suburban, and urban – I have a range of experiences upon which to draw. Beyond a career of serving and growing capacity with teams and communities, I bring a passion and commitment to my work. 

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    • Communication, voice, and transparency
    • Support, connections, and accountability
    • Vision, principles-based leadership, and long-range planning

    Westfield cannot allow growth and catching up to ever-changing realities to get ahead of our deliberate communication and planning as a team. First, communication simply has to improve. We have to be inclusive, empathetic, and bring people together. 

    Knowing how much everything connects to everything else within a system, leadership has to be in tune with resources, programs, and people capacity – and, more importantly, both data-driven and nuanced enough to pull the right levers in amplifying our opportunities. 

    What do you see as district’s strengths? 

    We have the groundwork in place to take some amazing next steps. The impetus and people are in place to capitalize on this potential. Resources and multitudes of programming are at our disposal to best fit into our strategic planning. 

    Careful assessment and review of systems and processes will be integral in ensuring that we can move to a more proactive mindset! 

    What do you see as areas of improvement at the district? 

    Communication, bringing people together, leveraging our strengths, and finding effective connections all need to improve. Seeking out our stakeholder and constituent voices is imperative. We must re-instill a continuous cycle of feedback and growth. We must make decisions based on data, good practice, and with our people in mind. High-quality teams build supportive environments where people’s needs are met and leadership has both a vision and plan for ensuring sustained engagement and meaningful growth. 

    How do you feel about the district’s efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made? 

    Safety is of the utmost importance. People do well when they feel good. We all perform at our best when we are able to do so. This includes best practices in safety training, current guidance and collaboration with emergency services and responders, really and truly knowing each other. Mental health supports, social skill building, and trauma-informed learning will be essential to our success. 

  • Alan Ford

    Age: 64

    Education: M.S. EE Purdue University, West Lafayette

    Occupation: Senior systems engineer, retired naval officer

    City of residence: Westfield

    How long have you resided in your school board district: 20-plus years

    Immediate family: Son, daughter-in-law, two grandsons, one sister

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you: Meet and talk to me.

    Previous political experience: Unsuccessfully ran for school board in 2014 or 2016

    Why do you want to run for school board? 

    I am a grandfather, concerned about the upbringing and education of my two grandsons.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    For my entire career, learning and teaching has been an integral part of my profession. I am a retired Naval Officer of more than 28 years service. I currently serve as a technical team leader and recruiter. I am also on the board of directors of the Science Education Foundation of Indiana (SEFI), where we host the state science and engineering fair, coordinate the regional fairs, and chaperone 10 to 20 young scientists every year to the International Science and Engineering Fair (ISEF), where I have judged for more than 15 years.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    Parents and/or guardians are premier deciders and responsible parties for the upbringing of their children. They should work in conjunction with educators, mentors, etc., to provide the BEST opportunities for their children.

    To support the first goal, I believe our schools should provide full, easy and uncomplicated access to the lessons and other activities provided to Westfield-Washington Schools attendees. I feel being a member of the school board will allow me to represent my own, as well as other parents’/guardians’ desires in the leadership of our schools.

    What do you see as the district’s strengths? 

    Westfield Washington Schools has excellent academic programs.

    What do you see as areas of improvement at the district?

    More parent involvement, and more opportunities for our young researchers to compete for scholarships and meet and interact with peers in the state and country.

    How do you feel about the district’s efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made? 

    While I am not intimately familiar with the school system’s protocols and procedures, I believe there is always room for improvement. When it does not interfere or detract from instruction, practice in the expected responses by students and staff is always beneficial. 

  • Amber Willis

    Age: 42  

    Education: B.S. from Miami of Ohio in 2003 

    Occupation: Sales director, CSI Signs 

    City of residence: Westfield 

    How long have you resided in your school board district:  Born in 1980- 2003 | 2008-current. 

    Immediate family: Husband, Anthony Willis, children, Gabriel, 14, Ava, 13, and, Nora, 2 

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you:Amber Huff Willis for Westfield School Board (facebook.com) 

    Previous political experience: Westfield Washington School Board At Large, January 2015 – current 

    Why do you want to run for school board?  

    As a lifelong resident of the fastest-growing school district in the state of Indiana, I want to ensure that all students get the most quality education while providing students with the best possible opportunities and educational experience.  While some fear learning loss, we have an opportunity to use what we’ve learned to guide our schools, teachers, and students toward the future. Expanded technology, higher education partnership programs, and educational opportunities and experiences will encourage our students to be flexible, adaptable, and innovative.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I am a current school board member since 2015, a Westfield Washington Schools alumni — class of 1999, I am a Westfield parent, and an employee of a family-owned, local business which supports our community.  

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?  

    1. My top priorities have always been academic excellence while keeping the classrooms safe and for all students. 
    2. Continue to retain talented teachers and staff and provide regular professional development opportunities and exceptional working conditions. 
    3. To monitor the growth of the district and make financially sound decisions for the taxpayers

    What do you see as the district’s strengths?

    WWS is a top achieving and growing school district with 98 percent-plus graduation rate. Westfield High School offers a wide variety of classes and pathways for our students, such as food science, agriculture science, construction, and engineering, to name a few.  Over half of graduating students receive college credits while at WHS. All recent WHS graduates continue their education, have secured employment or made military as their initial career choice. 

    What do you see as areas of improvement at the district?  

    We are an exceptional school district but there are always areas we can improve. Our Ag Science class is new this year and we hope to grow the program and build a greenhouse in the future. We offer college credit classes and are working on more partnerships here in Westfield to allow even more local opportunities for our community.  

    How do you feel about the district’s efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made?  

    We have continued to work closely with the Westfield Police Dept. on all school safety matters and initiatives. We have 5 SRO’s that interact daily with our students and provide guidance. We have created Police Substations in all buildings which allow any WPD officer to complete reports in their own office space within our buildings and get to know the students and have a presence in each of our schools.   

  • Curtis Wyatt

    Age: 70

    Education: B.S. Agriculture, B.S. Ag Economics, MBA Finance, studied tax law Pepperdine University

    Occupation: Real estate broker, FC Tucker/Carmel

    City of residence: Westfield

    How long have you resided in your school board district: Three years

    Immediate family: Four children, six grandchildren

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you: Website is in development.  I am available to meet 1-on-1 or groups,  cwyatt52@gmail.com

    Previous political experience: None

    Why do you want to run?

    To support our youth and give back to the community.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    Education is very important to me.  Strong financial background and contract management.  What do you not want to see in a candidate?

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    Representing the students, parents and community.  Academics and test scores.  Community outreach. 

    What do you see as the district’s strengths?

    (Supt. Paul) Kaiser and the current school board.

    What do you see as areas of improvement at the district?

    I have a meeting (coming up) with Dr. Kaiser and the budget director and I will know more after that.

    How do you feel about the district’s efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made?

    At this point, I am fine with current safety provisions.

     

Westfield Washington School Board District 2

Candidate William (Bill) Anderson, who was first elected to the board in November 2018 and serves as vice president, is seeking to retain his seat against challenger Patrick Phillips.

  • Bill Anderson

    Age: 54

    Education: Indiana University, Bachelor of Science, Management

    Occupation: IT Project Manager

    City of residence: Westfield

    How long have you resided in your school board district: Fourteen years

    Immediate family: Wife, Angela, and son, Jackson

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you: westfieldschoolboardcandidates.com

    Previous political experience: Westfield school board, 2019-present

    Why do you want to run for school board?

    Serving on the school board for the past four years has allowed me to serve the Westfield community and local schools just as I had for many years prior. This current board has worked with (Supt. Paul) Kaiser and his team to strategically position Westfield Schools for the future needs of the kids of Westfield. And I want to continue this work to realize this vision for the future of our schools.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I have received Indiana School Boards Association’s Exemplary Governance Award. And in the past four years we have accomplished many things, including: increased teacher compensation, rainy-day fund went from $0 to over $5,000,000, increased Music Dept. funding (more to come), reduced district tax rate, added 5 SROs and have police substations in every building, five buildings with an “A” rating, four buildings with a “B” rating, partnered with the YMCA on an aquatic center.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    Serving all the children in the community and keeping them safe; carry out our long-term vision that will map a course providing the necessary educational opportunities students need to reach their full potential; and implement and maintain our long-term plan that provides the ability to retain and attract the best and the brightest to Westfield Washington Schools long after my school board service has ended.

    What do you see as strengths at the district?

    Westfield Schools have prepared students for their future lives very well for a lot of years. We have one of the highest College Readiness scores in the state. Also, the backbone of education is the family. Westfield schools are great first and foremost because of the families in our community who are committed to education. I am running to represent them.

    What do you see as areas of improvement at the district?

    We are currently improving our offerings to students that do not plan to go to college. We have several options for our students right now and we have plans and partnerships in the works to expand and improve these programs. Many other programs have also expanded and improved over the years. I am especially interested in our music department and how it has grown leaps and bounds recently and will continue to do so.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels?

    Westfield didn’t lose as much ground as other Indiana districts. But this is a priority. The board has hired Dr. John Atha, a 34-year veteran administrator and curriculum professional, to bring the district back to its high standards. Dr. Atha has also hired Dr. Ryan Hoover as our director of curriculum. Dr. Hoover has over 25 years of professional education experience, most recently with Brownsburg, and will be utilizing several methodologies during the school year and over the summer to help kids recover any learning loss.

    How do you feel about the district’s efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made?

    I’m extremely impressed with our safety measures. Chris Baldwin is our assistant superintendent for Human Resources and Safety. Chris has about 28 years of professional education experience and has done a tremendous job keeping our kids safe. Chris and his team have a muti-dimensional approach that includes physical safety (SRO’s, locked doors, background checks, etc) and mental health resources. We have a police substation in each building and have recently added 5 SRO’s.

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I come from a family of educators. My father taught in the Fort Wayne Community School system for 35 years. My mother was a librarian and substitute teacher for FWCS for many years. For the last 20 years of her career, she was the librarian for Bishop Luers High School. My sister taught in FWCS, Hamilton Southeastern Schools, and currently teaches kindergarten in Zionsville. I grew up with teacher families and our world revolved around education.

  • Patrick Phillips

    Age: 40

    Education: 

    • Westfield High School, 2000
    • Indiana University, School of Informatics, Bachelor of Science, 2004
    • IUPUI, Paul H. O’Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs, Master of Public Affairs (MPA), 2018

    Occupation: Information technology director at Indiana University

    City of residence: Westfield

    How long have you resided in your school board district: Fourteen years

    Immediate family: One son, Benjamin, 11

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you: facebook.com/phillipsforthefield

    Previous political experience: Summit Lakes Homeowners Association 

    Why do you want to run for school board? 

    I believe our school board has become too political and it is time to tone down the rhetoric and return the focus to our students and teachers. We must work together to foster an environment where all students can learn, thrive, and grow, and all means all. We should be talking about the serious issues that our students and the district are facing (such as) transportation, aging facilities, classroom sizes, teacher compensation, operating referendum renewal, increasing access to STEM programs for young women and girls and extracurricular activities for all students. Instead, at our board meetings, we are talking about CRT, masks, the CDC, and books in our libraries. That is simply not good enough. I am not satisfied with what I’ve seen from the board in the past couple of years and that is why I am running, because I believe I can affect change in these areas. I will be an advocate for students, teachers, support staff, and others who have been forgotten as we have been bickering about all this other nonsense.

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    I am both a WWS alum and a parent of a current WWS student. I have 15-plus years of professional leadership experience, currently leading a team of 125 IT professionals providing the highest level of concierge IT support to faculty, staff, and students at IU schools, departments, and units across the state. I have a Master of Public Affairs degree with a specific focus on Public Management, for which my studies included public finance and accounting, organizational leadership, negotiation and dispute resolution and more. 

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    Supporting our students and preparing them for the real world; ensuring our teachers feel heard and have the resources and support they need to be successful both in and out of the classroom; and passing our operating referendum renewal.

    What do you see as strengths at the district?

    • Our students. They are the best and brightest amongst their peers, they care about our schools, our community, and each other, and they represent us well on every stage.
    • Our teachers. They work tirelessly to ensure our kids are safe, cared for, and educated, and they often do this to their own personal detriment.
    • Our facilities. Our school buildings (education spaces, theater and performance spaces, vocational spaces, athletic spaces, etc.) are second to none in the state and beyond.
    • Our administrators. They genuinely care about all the above, and are committed to capitalizing on our existing strengths, and planning for our future needs.

    What do you see as areas of improvement at the district?

    Classroom Resources

    • We have teachers who cannot take time off because there are no subs to cover their classrooms.
    • We have classrooms and kids that are under resourced because we don’t have enough Instructional Assistants.
    • We must do better in this area. We must find creative ways to attract non-certified staff  to serve the most important roles they do in our schools and support our students and teachers.

    Transportation

    • Like every other school district around us right now, we are struggling to provide safe 
    • and reliable transportation for our students.
    • We must identify creative ways to attract more bus drivers to ensure routes are running 
    • on time and students are as safe on the buses as they are in our school buildings.

    Space and facilities 

    • Our enrollment continues to increase at a rapid pace, and we are bursting at the seams 
    • in our elementary schools. 
    • We likely need additional elementary schools, and we must plan for more expansion at the high school. 
    • I do not want to see two high schools in Westfield, so careful planning is needed to ensure we can accommodate the growth responsibly and keep our community united.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels?

    While I do not believe test scores are the most important measure of student success, I think the best way we can get back on track and recover from the unique challenges the pandemic gave us is to focus on the whole student. This means social and emotional learning is equally as important as reading, writing, and arithmetic.

    How do you feel about the district’s efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made? 

    Westfield has always felt remarkably safe to me, but the realities of the world today necessitate additional safety precautions at schools and other places where many people regularly gather. I wish we didn’t have to lock all the doors and create mini compounds at each of our schools, but this is just the way it must be now. I believe the district has done an amazing job in their efforts to address student safety, specifically in partnering with the Westfield Police Department to make our schools WPD substations. We are well positioned in these areas to provide a safe environment for our students, teachers, support staff, and administrators as they conduct the business of teaching and learning.

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I am a caring and kind person who will fight tirelessly for the people I represent. I care deeply about the future of our schools, our community, and our kids, and I believe I am the right person, at the right time, for the Westfield Washington School Board.

Westfield Washington School Board District 4

Candidate Rebecca Ogle, who was first elected to the board in November 2018 and serves as president, is seeking to retain her seat against challenger Jill Woerner. Both candidates were asked about issues facing the district, what improvements could be made and what they would focus on if elected. 

  • Rebecca Ogle

    Age: 48

    Education: 1996 Franklin College, Bachelor of Arts in accounting

    Occupation: Chief financial officer at safety management group

    City of residence: Westfield

    How long have you resided in your school board district: Twenty years

    Immediate family: Jason Ogle, Owen Ogle and Elliott Ogle

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you: westfieldschoolboardcandidates.com/elect-rebecca-ogle 

    Previous political experience: Westfield Washington School Board, District 4 – elected in initial 2018 campaign

    Why do you want to run for school board? 

    I’m running to serve our community and to contribute in a positive way by bringing my professional experience to assist with one of the largest businesses in Westfield.

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    I am a certified public accountant, a certified fraud examiner, a certified construction industry financial professional and a chief financial officer. My professional experience brings business expertise plus sound accounting and finance best practices to board discussions and decisions.  This experience has facilitated many success stories over the past 4 years. Please visit our website for our 2018 campaign COMMITMENTS AND RESULTS report: westfieldschoolboardcandidates.com.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    If elected to serve again, my efforts as a board member will focus on:

    1. Protect the assets which make our schools great: qualified teachers and staff
    2. Protect our kids 
    3. Proactively manage spending and be a steward of referendum funds, while serving on the Board’s Finance Committee.

    What do you see as strengths at the district? 

    The district is high achieving in academics and extracurricular areas (sports, visual and performing arts, etc.), expanding our instructional offerings to support broader post-graduation pathways. The district has reestablished financial stability and demonstrated stewardship of taxpayer dollars.

    What do you see as areas of improvement at the district? 

    The district has so many positives but there’s always room to grow and raise the bar – continuous improvement with proven sustainable process and procedures

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters? 

    It should be addressed without introducing ideologies. Cultural humility is important; understanding and embracing history and traditions of diverse cultures represented in our community and elsewhere, is key to producing successful citizens. Equity of learning has been in place for years via support programs and is important to continue to each child has the opportunity for an education. Inclusion of all students, regardless of socioeconomic status or other factors that are a barrier to learning should be addressed for those students needing support.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels? 

    Test scores can be improved through intervention and remediation programs, especially early learning opportunities. Expanding and adding these programs, especially in the elementary is a current focus of the district.

    How do you feel about the district’s efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made?  

    I think the district has implemented sound policies and protocols regarding student safety. The expanded partnership with WPD has also raised the bar for support in this area. Again, there’s always room for improvement but I know this is an active concern of the district and constantly being reviewed.

    Something most people don’t know about you?  

    I grew up on a farm in Sheridan and helped in the field and clean pig barns.

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I was recognized as one of the IBJ’s 2021 CFOs of the Year, selected as the top honoree among private companies with less than $100 million in revenue.

  • Jill Woerner

    Age: 44

    Education: B.S. Secondary Spanish Education from Purdue University, M.Ed. Educational Leadership and Administration from Anderson University

    Occupation: National Director of Education & External Outreach for AFS-USA

    City of residence: Westfield

    How long have you resided in your school board district: Eight years

    Immediate family: Husband, Greg

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you: woernerforwestfield.com 

    Previous political experience: None

    Why do you want to run for school board? 

    Public schools have always been a hub of growth and community for students and families. Recently, they’ve become polarized and politicized. I want to use my background in education to help bring the focus back to an academic and social environment for the students, teachers, and community members. 

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    I have been in education my entire career. I am a licensed and experienced educator and school administrator who has served in neighboring school districts and at the Indiana Dept. of Education. I am also bilingual (Spanish/English), which will allow more voices in the community to be heard. 

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    • Prioritizing student safety and academics
    • Retaining and recruiting the best educators to serve the students of Westfield-Washington Schools
    • Fiscal responsibility

    What do you see as strengths at the district? 

    Strong parental engagement and support for district initiatives; high levels of academic achievement and student preparedness; and high number of teachers who are invested in student success

    What do you see as areas of improvement at the district? 

    Recruiting and supporting staff members that reflect our community and innovation and flexibility in initiatives that serve non-traditional learners

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters? 

    Westfield Washington Schools’ stated mission is to ensure every Rock is life ready. Students must be prepared to engage with individuals who look, speak, think, and identify differently than they do. Understanding how people communicate, how more than one perspective in a situation may exist, and how those impact personal and professional relationships will increase our students’ ability to be successful in our global society. 

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels? 

    Every child is unique and learns at their own pace. To overcome academic learning loss from the pandemic, having parents and educators working together to devise an individualized approach for students is truly the most effective way for each student to reach their full potential. Only with this collaboration among everyone who wants students to succeed will students’ needs be met so students can truly focus on their academics. 

    How do you feel about the district’s efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made? 

    Student safety goes beyond locked doors and school resource officers. Student safety also entails ensuring that students of any age and any background can walk through the hallways without ridicule or harassment because there’s been a community of parents and educators that work together to establish a culture of mutual respect and understanding. This requires leading through modeling, listening to others’ perspectives, and intentional consensus-building in a community. 

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    If people don’t know me personally, they likely wouldn’t know how much I love to travel the world and spend time with individuals from those countries. These immersive experiences allow me to gain a deeper understanding of people and how they live. 

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I am passionate about student and teacher success and believe strongly that those are 100 percent interconnected. When we support teachers and high-quality instruction, we are building a strong future for our kids.

Lawrence Township School Board

  • Patricia Brenamen

    Age: 38

    Education: Two masters/graduate degree: MBA and Master of Accounting

    Occupation: Director of Trust and Corporate Operations with the Indiana Dept. of Revenue.

    City of residence: Lawrence/Indianapolis

    How long have you resided in your school board district: Twelve years

    Immediate family: I am a Brazilian Immigrant, so my family isn’t around full time. My husband is from a small town in Indiana and came to Indianapolis in middle school. He graduated from Warren Central. We have three children — one in Forest Glen, one in Amy Beverland and the youngest one will be in Amy Beverland ELC next year.

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you: I haven’t set it up yet, but I plan on joining facebook and creating a page. 

    Previous political experience: None.

    Why do you want to run for school board?

     My kids are in the school system, and I love Lawrence. We’ve had a wonderful experience with Forest Glen and navigating the special needs world. I want to ensure others know what Lawrence has to offer and also seek ways to improve access to all, including not-native speakers. 

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I am Latinx and have immigrated to the U.S. calling the U.S. home for most of my adult life. My background is in accounting and finance, I have experience with budgeting, decision-making and strategic planning. Most importantly, I have kids in two different schools within the district. I believe my experiences within the school and outside of the school will make it easier for me relate to the community and learn ways best serve the community and seek improvements. 

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

     I don’t have an agenda. My goal is to listen to the voice of the people within the community to help improve in areas of need and to continue to focus on diversity and inclusion while maintaining the schools a safe place for our educators and students. 

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters?

    I believe we all bring special talents to the table and focusing on diversity, equity and inclusion will not only make our schools stronger but also make the future of our community stronger. Change begins with education. Learning has changed forever with the pandemic and racial divide in the past few years, we must model a place of love and acceptance to ensure all students feel like they can be themselves and be part of the Lawrence community. 

    How do you feel about MSDLT Schools’ efforts to address student safety?

    What changes, if any, would you like to see made? I think they did a great job addressing the security measures withing the schools and listening to the experts on how to navigate the pandemic. I believe not making these issues political helped our community during those hard times and will continue to help. 

  • Marta Lawrence

    Age: 42

    Education: Bachelor’s in interdisciplinary studies at Miami University, currently enrolled in graduate courses in Organizational Behavior at Harvard

    Occupation: Director of Solutions Strategy at Salesforce

    City of residence: Indianapolis

    How long have you resided in your school board district: More than 16 years

    Immediate family: Greg (husband for 17 years), Bennett (12, 7th grade at Fall Creek Valley), Sage (10, 5th grade at Amy Beverland), Mavis (4, will be in Kindergarten at Amy Beverland next fall)

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you: Lawrence4Lawrence.com

    Previous political experience: None

    Why do you want to run for school board? 

    I decided to run for District 2 because I saw an opportunity to build on the work I’ve done over the last six years as a member of the Lawrence Township Foundation Board and make an even greater impact on the students, families, teachers, and staff of Lawrence Township. As the district continues to rebound from the impact of the pandemic, the work of the Board will be even more critical and I’m up for that challenge.

    What are your qualifications for this office? 

    I’ve served as a member of the Lawrence Township Foundation for six years and led marketing efforts for the referendum. Professionally I lead strategic efforts for the Salesforce Marketing Cloud selling team where I drive efficiency and effectiveness for our multi-billion-dollar organization. I am a trusted advisor to our senior executives, and I have a reputation for being able to solve big problems others can’t. That’s the type of experience we need to lead our district forward.

    What are the top 3 issues that your campaign will focus on?

    If I am elected to the school board, my approach will focus on three key pillars: commitment to the growth of every student, preparing students for the economy of the future, being a transparent voice for the community, students, teachers, administrators, and staff. Yeah 

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters? 

    Lawrence Township is one of the most diverse schools in the state. Not only are we racially diverse, but we are also diverse in terms of socioeconomics and in learner interest and level. Focusing on the growth of the individual student is key. We must examine low-achieving and low-growth groups and support these students’ success with attainable goals.

    How do you feel about MSDLT Schools’ efforts to address student safety? 

    Safety in terms of hardening the buildings against intruders was largely addressed with the building upgrades. However, any parent in the district that does pick up and drop off will tell you that these lines are often confusing, long, and difficult to navigate. I’ve witnessed kids weaving in and out of traffic at pickup and drop-off times and parents making dangerous driving choices due to frustration. There’s not a clear answer for every building, but this is something the Board should address. 

  • Janet Jacobs

    Education: BSed, Ohio University, Athens, Ohio;  MSed, Butler University, Reading

    Occupation: Retired teacher

    City of residence:  Lawrence, Chesapeake subdivision

    How long have you resided in your school board district: More than 25 years

    Immediate family:  Three children, all Lawrence Central graduates, seven grandchildren, two in Lawrence Township schools

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you: facebook.com/oujacobs

    Previous political experience: None

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    Simply put, education has been my life’s work. Teaching, mentoring, and advocating for children is not only what I did in my career but who I am as a person.  My background as a Title I teacher and coordinator prepared me by exposing me to all of the aspects of public education.  I have written grants, prepared budgets, worked with the State Department of Education when writing School Improvement Plans, and in ISTEP testing.  I’ve also provided professional development to teachers, collaborated across districts, and attended state meetings to promote literacy.

    What are the top 3 issues that your campaign will focus on?

    Parental involvement, achievement gap, and attracting and retaining the best teachers.

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters? 

    The equity plan is in place; this was a major undertaking to pinpoint the beliefs, policies, procedures and standards that might serve as a barrier to children.  Goals were set, and ongoing examination is in place.  Keeping these goals in the forefront has to be a top priority as they are critical in serving all students.

    How do you feel about MSDLT Schools’ efforts to address student safety?

    A concerted effort must be made to ensure students safety in the classroom.  The board must always be open to questions and suggestions as to how to implement these measures.

  • Nichole Sledge

    Age: 45

    Education: BS Finance, Masters in Public Administration (MPA). Masters of Art in Teaching (MAT) 

    Occupation: Education, Director of Student Services

    City of residence: Indianapolis

    How long have you resided in your school board district: 2 years 

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you: committetoelectnicholesledge.org

    Previous political experience (please include any elected office sought): NA

    Why do you want to run for school board?

    I am running for MSD Lawrence Township Board of Education District#2. As a board member, I want to continue championing equity and culture initiatives by elevating the voices of all stakeholders, increasing rigorous course offerings throughout the district, refining the teacher evaluation system, and ensuring policies substantiate the mission and vision of MSD Lawrence Township.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I have a strong belief that education is a great engine of personal development. With that, I moved away from corporate America, I joined Teach for America in 2018 and currently work as an Administrator for a middle school in INDYs Martindale-Brightwood community. I am a parent of an MSD Lawrence Township student, I have a vested interest in the success of our schools, our students, and our teachers. Because I am an educator, I feel I can give valuable input to the board. Investing in our youth, public service workers, and community is essential. 

    What are the top 3 issues that your campaign will focus on?

    It is my top priority to ensure that each student is served in the best capacity based on their individual needs; understanding that providing support to our school employees is the foundation for student success.          

    What do you see as strengths at MSDLT Schools?

    One of our biggest strengths is the administration, teachers, and staff.  The amount of work that goes into the day-to-day instruction and operations at a school is very demanding.  We have amazing teams in our schools who all work tirelessly for our students. 

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity, and inclusion matters?

    I believe schools should implement culturally responsive procedures, and learn from shared experiences to elevate voices to promote a growth mindset.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels?

    Public schools can put support and resources in place to help our students raise their scores, and hire additional at-risk social workers, academic advisors, and behavioral interventionists across the districts.

    What nonprofit, social clubs, volunteer groups, PACs, or other organizations are you involved with? 

    Leaders for Educational Equity

    Has your campaign received any endorsements? NA 

Boone County Races

Boone County Prosecuting Attorney

  • Kent Eastwood is running unopposed for Boone County Prosecuting Attorney.

Boone County Clerk

  • Lisa Bruder is running unopposed for Boone County Clerk.

Boone County Sheriff

  • Tony Harri is running unopposed for Boone County Sheriff.

Boone County Surveyor

  • Carole Cunningham is running unopposed for Boone County Surveyor.

Boone County Assessor

  • Jennifer Lasley is running unopposed for Boone County Assessor.

Boone County Commissioner District 1

Erin Brewster, a tax attorney, and Tim Beyer, a professional engineer and surveyor, are running for the position of Boone County Commissioner in district 1. The seat is being vacated by current district 1 commissioner Tom Santelli.

  • Tim Beyer

    Age: 50

    Education: Purdue University, Bachelor of Science degrees in Civil Engineering and Land Surveying Engineering

    Occupation: Professional Engineer and Professional Surveyor

    City of residence: Zionsville

    Immediate family: Wife, Jennifer, Married 25 Years; Three children, Daniel, Erin, Kevin, 

    Previous political experience: No previous office sought.

    Website or best way for voters to reach you: Tim Beyer for Boone County Commissioner on Facebook

    E-mail: tim4commish@protonmail.com

    Why do you want to run for office? The motivation to run for office was provided by the lack of government officials, at all levels of government, doing the job they are hired to do, which is to protect people’s individual rights to live their lives as they see fit. Mask mandates, particularly in schools, mandated testing for COVID, vaccine mandates by businesses, government forced shutdown of businesses, “one-size-fits-all” mandated COVID treatments are some examples where government has failed, in this regard, in the past 2 years. This office can make a positive impact on many of these types of issues.

    What are your qualifications for this office? I have lived in Boone County, just outside Zionsville, with my family since 1998. In addition to civil engineering and land surveying companies, I have worked for a nationwide real estate developer, construction companies performing dirt, pipe, and paving work, and for a sewer utility company.

    What are the top 3 issues that your campaign will focus on? Protection of people’s individual rights to live their lives. Efficient and proper use of public funds for roads and other infrastructure. Useful and beneficial information from County offices for people to utilize, as opposed to simply repeating “one-size fits all” information from other government agencies.

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office? Over the last 2 years, it has become apparent that members of the general public need to be involved in government. This role is a natural extension of the experience that I bring working with government in the private sector.

    How long have you lived in your district? 24 years

    What other organizations are you involved with? Indiana Society of Professional Land Surveyors, including Treasurer of local chapter Moms for Liberty – Boone County, Indiana

    Something most people don’t know about you? I am an amusement park fan and attend often with my youngest son.

    Something you want people to know about you? As a civil engineer and land surveyor, I am constantly looking for common-sense solutions that also save money (referred to as “value engineering”), whenever possible, to the challenges that my jobs present. I would bring this same approach to my role as County Commissioner. Our founders considered it immoral to pass debts on to the next generation and considered payment of debt to be the first use of public funds. They considered the burden of debt to be as destructive to freedom as subjugation by conquest. Funds are necessary for government to perform the functions people hire them to do; however, government should treat those funds as they would treat their own.

  • Erin Brewster

    Age: 40

    Education: Bachelor of Arts in History & Political Science, Lehigh University 2004 Juris Doctor, New England School of Law, 2007 Master of Laws (LLM) in taxation, Villanova University School of Law, 2008

    Occupation: Tax Attorney

    City of residence: Zionsville

    Immediate family: Husband – Dr. Benjamin Brewster, 2 rescue dogs – Punky & Daisy

    Previous political experience: I previously ran for Boone County Council, District 4 in 2018

    Website or best way for voters to reach you: www.votebrewster.com

    Why do you want to run for office? I am running for office because I think it’s the best way to make a positive impact on the community. There is so much change coming to Boone County and I would love the opportunity to use my skills to ensure that the county makes the most of these new opportunities. 

    What are your qualifications for this office? As an attorney, I have strong skills in critical thinking, analysis, and attention to detail. These skills will be imperative in the position of Commissioner. Additionally, I have been following county government since 2017 and am familiar with the structure and challenges facing the county.

    What are the top 3 issues that your campaign will focus on?

    1. Accountability and transparency
    2. Thoughtful growth and planning 
    3. Improved working relationships among county government

    What sets you apart from other candidates for this office? I have a vested interest in Boone County and no individual agenda. I believe in moving Boone County forward, for the benefit of all residents and to serve my community to the best of my ability. I have closely followed county government since shortly after I moved here, and have run for a county office before. I am confident that I would be a great asset to the Boone County Commissioners and Boone County as whole.

    How long have you lived in your district? 8 years

    What other organizations are you involved with? Locally, I am a member of Kiwanis Club Lebanon and an at-will pro bono attorney for Lafayette Urban Ministry. In addition, I am an Alumna and supporter of Pi Beta Phi Sorority and member of Lehigh University Alumni Club.

    Something most people don’t know about you? I especially enjoy cross stitching. It takes a lot of concentration and attention to detail and I only work on fun pieces like sarcastic sayings and video game related projects. I also enjoy growing hydroponic lettuce, herbs and small vegetables. Something you want people to know about you? I will listen to the residents of Boone County and endeavor to ensure that the county government serve the needs and desires of our citizens.

Boone County Council District 1

Boone County Council District 2

  • John Riner is running unopposed for Boone County Council District 2.

Boone County Council District 3

  • Kevin Van Horn is running unopposed for Boone County Council District 3.

Boone County Council District 4

Zionsville Community School Board Races

Zionsville Community School Board At Large

Matthew A. Keefer, a board-certified physician, Sarah Esterline Sampson, a former auditor and CPA, and Christy Wessel-Powell, an assistant professor at Purdue, are running for the at-large position on the ZCS school board.

  • Matthew A Keefer

    Education: B.A. biology and chemistry I.U.; M.D., I.U. School of Medicine

    Occupation: Board-certified physician – anesthesiology

    City: Zionsville

    Age: 65

    Lived in district: 29 years

    Immediate family: Wife, Wynne; four children, Chad, Brice, Jordan, Haley, that are ZCHS grads

    Website: mattkeeferforschoolboard.com

    Previous political experience: None

    Why do you want to run for school board?

    Empower teachers to educate; improve school board governance to reflect the majority community values, restore traditional education in our schools, eliminate CRT and associated curriculum, and be a responsive champion for the parents and students.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I’ve been a practicing M.D. for 36 years. I am acutely aware and informed on most current socially divisive issues. The students are our future, and I will be highly involved to make sure that they are best equipped to lead a fulfilled life.

    What are your top three campaign issues?

    Focus teachers to educate, not indoctrinate the students. Provide governance from the school board over the superintendent and administrators that reflects majority community values. Eliminate critical race theory and associated curricula from ZCS.

    What do you see as strengths at Zionsville Community Schools?

    Gifted, highly involved parents provide ZCS with students of great potential. I’ve known many great ZCS teachers over the years that tapped that potential. We need more of this!

    What do you see as areas of improvement at Zionsville Community Schools?

    It is the job of the school system to provide direction to each student, so they may find their niche in life. College is not for everyone. We should provide more training for vocational and skilled worker opportunities.

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters?

    Student diversity is a function of who lives in the district. School staff hiring practices should be strictly based on merit of the applicant. Equity in schools means equality of outcome, not opportunity. Equity of outcome leads to mediocrity, as the worst student and best student have the same outcome. That is not how life works. Inclusion should be encouraged, but again that is not how life works. Not everyone can take turns starting on the varsity basketball team unless you want to lose every game. DEI is a progressive language game that is designed to confuse young people and emotional thinkers.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels?

    First of all, never shut schools down again. It was a terrible policy. Online learning is ineffective in the majority of students. Moving forward, educators need to go back to the basics: math, reading, and writing. The farthest behind need the most help.

    How do you feel about Zionsville Community Schools’ efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made?

    I am not informed on this issue but will carefully study this issue if elected. If the majority of parents want a police officer in each building, and the school budget must accommodate that.

    What nonprofit, social clubs, volunteer groups, PACs or other organizations are you involved with?

    None at this point. If any want to align with my issues, I would accept their help on my terms. My views will not be compromised by any organized group.

    Has your campaign received any endorsements?

    Only endorsements from my family and close friends who have known me for many years. They know my integrity, intelligence, values and commitment to family, friends and the community.

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    I know who I am. I have strong opinions based on independent facts. But I also don’t force my beliefs on others and am willing to make logical compromises.

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I will fight for parents and students in the hope of helping to provide a fulfilled life, wherever that takes them. I will tirelessly work with and in the schools to ensure community standards are accommodated and excellence is the goal.

  • Sarah Sampson

    Education: University of Notre Dame – bachelor of business administration, accountancy

    Occupation: Former Big 4 Auditor/CPA; mother of 10 children and community volunteer

    City: Zionsville

    Age: 52

    Lived in district: since 2005

    Immediate family: Jon Sampson – husband, 6 daughters, 4 sons (4 children currently attending ZCS)

    Website: SarahESampson.com

    Previous political experience: None

    Why do you want to run for school board?

    I am running for school board so my family has the opportunity to love Zionsville as I do. I grew up in this area and left after high school, but I always planned to settle back here. I was happy to return to a community of great people and fantastic schools. I have been here 17 years serving in many roles, the most important being as a parent. I’ve worked up the ladder of school volunteering and find the school board to be an excellent next step. As ZCHS PTO president, I’ve made personal connections within the buildings, having had many interactions with admin, teachers, staff and families. I’m focused on keeping our school district a leader in the State of Indiana.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I have been an involved parent for 27 years, 17 years in Zionsville. I actively volunteer within the schools supporting teachers, admin/staff, and students. I am a CPA, educated in business administration, and worked as an auditor for the Big 4. I’m able to make decisions with a combined business and parental perspective.

    What are your top three campaign issues?

    1) Promoting the addition of electives such as industrial arts and consumer science with financial literacy, 2) Transparency and 3) Fiscal responsibility

    What do you see as strengths at Zionsville Community Schools?

    I see the people at ZCS are our biggest strengths. We are a strong community filled with great families, dedicated teachers and administrators who believe in supporting incredible extracurricular opportunities.

    What do you see as areas of improvement at Zionsville Community Schools? What changes, if any, would you like to see made?

    I believe our high school could add more general education class opportunities for students who don’t want to add another AP class or for a student who is interested in a course taught at J. Everett Light but doesn’t want to commit to the full program. Financial literacy and skills of dexterity learned in a technical class will help everyone in their adult life, so I’d like to see ZCHS offer these additional classes.

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters?

    I think all children should feel welcomed, supported and included. Every child counts. My child with an IEP is included in the classroom as much as possible. Diversity and inclusion are especially such important topics, and I feel the board should have a primary mission of fostering each student’s academic growth. Equity is a topic I am learning about, and I am finding inconsistencies in what I read and what I believe. I am all for an equal treatment of all students, with support in place to help each individual meet their best potential. I am not for attempting to create equity in the outcome from education. I believe that would discount goal setting, work ethic, and individual achievements which I think help produce a positive outcome for all levels.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels?

    Our test scores will improve by focusing on academics and having the students back in person. We need to retain our high caliber teachers who are willing and also need to continue to recruit high quality teacher candidates. The pandemic certainly affected the test scores, but I believe there is more to it. I believe four years ago, the policy became no homework or barely any until 5th grade. If elementary score declines correspond with the decrease in homework, we should reconsider our approach. Additionally, finding a way to decrease all of the class time taken by state testing would be a way to increase time for academics, especially in the younger grades.

    How do you feel about Zionsville Community Schools’ efforts to address student safety?

    Safety is absolutely something we should not finish learning about if we want to be doing it right. I am thankful for the SROs in the building and have had it explained that the people working on safety cannot outline everything being done or the safety plan is weakened. I do want the safety team to continue to learn, implement best practices, and grow in number as our enrollment numbers increase. I also think the safety of our bikers and high school parking lot need evaluation and action.

    What nonprofit, social clubs, volunteer groups, PACs or other organizations are involved with?

    I’ve been an active member of PTOs at each school my children have attended and often chaperone or help in the classrooms. I participate in Habitat for Humanity Women Builds, and I’m a Girl Scout leader. I’m a religious education principal at St. Alphonsus and involved in multiple ministries there. I actively participated, ran fundraising initiatives, and held board positions for Tri Kappa for 16 years. I’m a member of the Indianapolis Dramatic Club. I also enjoy being on the parent committees for the variety of extracurriculars my children have been involved in.

    Has your campaign received any endorsements?

    Yes, from friends and community members who have my support signs in their yards around town.

    Something most people don’t know about you:

    I played Division 1 soccer for Notre Dame.

    Something you want people to know about you:

    I went to Pike High School and I received my first communion at St. Alphonsus church. I am deeply rooted here and truly care for our community.

  • Christy Wessel-Powell

    Education: BA in international studies and humanities from St Mary-of-the-Woods College; MAT in elementary education from Dominican University; PhD in literacy, culture and language education from IU-Bloomington

    Occupation: Assistant professor of literacy and language education at Purdue’s College of Education

    City: Zionsville

    Age: 42

    Lived in district: since 2017

    Immediate family: Husband Scott, children ages 11 (at ZWest) and 9 (at Stonegate then

    Trailside)

    Website: christywesselpowel.wixsite.com/christy4schoolboard

    Previous political experience: First public elected office sought.

    Why do you want to run for school board?

    I want to bring my experience as an educator to add value to the already well-functioning school board.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I’m a professor and researcher at Purdue University focused on education and literacy teaching. I teach teachers. I used to teach grades K-2 myself, in mostly high needs schools in large urban districts. I’ve also been a literacy coach. I understand the impact administrative decisions have at the classroom level. I’m also a strong advocate for public schools, teachers, and the children they serve.

    What are your top three campaign issues?

    1. Teacher support: The past few years have been difficult, and our teachers need us. Indiana is facing a teacher shortage. Teacher pay, autonomy, respect, and trust are some of the tangible ways this community can advocate for supporting teachers. 2. Safety: Critical to my campaign is safety, especially physical and perimeter safety around the schools. I believe it is imperative that the school board partner with the Boone County Sheriff’s Office and school administrators to ensure our students (our children) are safe. 3. Maintaining Zionsville’s welcoming and close-knit community as the community grows and schools expand: The town is growing, and the schools have a responsibility to welcome all families as the population expands.

    What do you see as strengths at Zionsville Community Schools?

    ZCS has fabulous teachers, caring support staff, responsive administrators, involved families, and a variety of ways for children to feel successful, supported and included as they progress through schooling.

    What do you see as areas of improvement at Zionsville Community Schools?

    I would love to see this community advocate for teachers, public school funding, and public school support from the Indiana legislative body. ZCS cannot do this alone: it will take parent/family and community advocacy with and on behalf of our schools. I would also love to see less tracking and more emphasis on a variety of flexible pathways for students who have a multiplicity of interests. 

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion Matters?

    Yes: public schools are for everyone. All children and families should be included and receive an equitable education. Our nation’s public schools are increasingly diverse, and ZCS’s growing population mirrors that trend. It’s essential for our school district to proactively welcome families from diverse backgrounds.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels?

    The best thing the state of Indiana could do post-pandemic is to eliminate the IREAD-3 and ILEARN standardized tests, which are only useful as money makers for large testing companies, and instead focus on NWEA test data. The NWEA is regularly administered in schools multiple times per year already as a progress monitoring tool. IREAD-3 and ILEARN take up huge chunks of instructional time and they’re very expensive. We could be using that money for teacher salaries, bus drivers, textbook fees, or any number of other more worthy costs. I’m passionate about literacy achievement. I’m administering COVID relief funds for Indiana’s Dept. of Education. 

    How do you feel about Zionsville Community Schools’ efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made?

    ZCS works closely with local police to provide SROs in every building. We could use more mental health supports in the district and community for sure. 

    What nonprofit, social clubs, volunteer groups, PACs or other organizations are you involved with?

    American Educational Research Association, Literacy Research Association, International Literacy Association, National Council of Teachers of English, Indiana Coalition for Public Education

    Has your campaign received any endorsements? If so, please list.

    Debbie Ungar: current ZCS school board president and at-large

Zionsville Community School Board Eagle Township

  • Michael Berg

    Age: 43

    Education: Illinois State University 2004 M.S. Clinical-Counseling Psychology

    Knox College 2002 B.A. – Psychology/Integrated International Studies

    Occupation: Ryan White Program Manager for a large health network/licensed therapist

    City of residence: Zionsville

    How long have you resided in your school board district?  This is my ninth year living in the district.

    Immediate family: I have two daughters who attend ZMS and a son who attends ZCHS.

    Best way for voters to learn more about you: @Berg4Board on Facebook, website is in the works.

    Previous political experience: I am currently completing my first term on the ZCS Board of Trustees, I have not sought or held other political office.

    Why do you want to run for school board?

    I am running for my second term on the school board because I have deep respect for the teachers, administrators, and families in this district. The last few years have been extremely challenging. I am inspired by the grit, determination, and dedication to our students. I believe that Zionsville Community Schools is a remarkable district with an outstanding staff who strive to do the best for our community. I am concerned that there are individuals running who might dismantle that. I will fight to protect teachers and administrators and to preserve the work that has made ZCS so successful for so long. In addition, over the next few years, the school board will be part of decisions that will impact the community for years to come and I feel that I am well suited to contribute to those conversations.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I have been on the school board for the last four years. During that time, I have learned a great deal and developed excellent working relationships with the administration. Additionally, as a licensed therapist, the bulk of my career has been spent working with children, teens and families. I have also worked in public schools with teachers and schools in a variety of roles. I am very invested in this community as a coach and volunteer.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    1. Ensuring that teachers and administrators who have dedicated their lives to education, retain the autonomy to do their work. This will hopefully help ZCS retain our outstanding staff.
    2. Ensuring that ZCS continues to offer a supportive, high-quality public education experience for all students.
    3. Ensuring that Zionsville Community Schools continue to be a responsible steward of tax dollars, a driver of property values, and stanchion of economic stability for the community.

    What do you see as strengths at Zionsville Community Schools?

    ZCS has exceptionally talented, innovative and passionate teachers, staff and administrators. However, much of the credit for ZCS’s success must be given to fact that our community is filled with intelligent, capable and invested parents and supports for our students. ZCS is able to offer academic rigor for students who benefit from it and individualized support for students who will benefit from it.

    What do you see as areas of improvement at Zionsville Community Schools?

    As in any large organization, there are students within ZCS who struggle to feel comfortable or to fit in. Working to make ZCS a place where all feel that they belong is likely work that will never end.

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters?

    DEI initiatives help to create conditions that allow all students to benefit from the common resource that is public education. If you spend time around schools you will likely hear the phrase, “Hungry kids can’t learn.” This refers to the idea that students sometimes have needs that will supersede their ability to learn if they are not addressed. DEI initiatives among other approaches have been developed over the decades as teachers and researchers have recognized that students must feel safe and that they belong if they are to benefit from instruction, no matter how good it is.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels?

    Test scores are a necessary part of providing public education, but they are not the best indicator of academic success, school performance, or success in life. Many efforts are underway to improve test scores, but these must not be undertaken at the expense of rich, experience-based curricula that are more likely to contribute to long-term academic success.

    How do you feel about Zionsville Community Schools’ efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made?

    ZCS has excellent partnerships with local law enforcement agencies, and a great deal of work is continually happening in the areas of preparedness and prevention. Unfortunately, many of the factors that significantly impact student safety fall outside of the purview of schools and school boards.

    What nonprofit, social clubs, volunteer groups, PACs or other organizations are you involved with?

    • ZYSA recreational soccer coach
    • Zionsville Swim Club volunteer
    • Indy Stars Gymnastics volunteer
    • Zionsville and Whitestown Redevelopment Commissions
    • Marion County Ryan White Planning Council
    • IDOH HIV/STD planning council

    Has your campaign received any endorsements? If so, please list.

    Current school board president, Debbie Ungar

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    In my role as a school board member, I represent ZCS on both the Whitestown and Zionsville Redevelopment Commissions. I am a nonvoting member of each, but those positions allow me to advocate for the interests of ZCS and our constituents as development decisions are considered in both rapidly growing communities.

    Something you want people to know about you?

    Serving on the ZCS school board has been an honor and a privilege. However, I will be forever indebted to this community for the love and support my family received when one of my children endured a life-threatening medical emergency two years ago. We will never be able to thank you enough.

  • Tim Hardt

    Age: 54

    Education: BA in Secondary Education and Spanish

    Occupation: Sales Training Manager at ANGI

    City of residence: Zionsville

    How long have you resided in your school board district: 8 years

    Immediate family: Wife, Danette; 2 sons, Shaun and Chris

    Website: hardt4zcs.com

    Facebook: Facebook.com/Hardt4zcs

    Previous political experience:

    National Board member, Junior Volleyball Association

    Why do you want to run for school board?

    I am running for school board because I believe that the current board has not been effective at listening to and respecting the views of the parents. Real transparency and accountability need to be the focus of the school board moving forward. As a school board member, I will help ensure that Zionsville Community Schools are providing the students with the best educational opportunity possible. Having a best-in-class public education system is in the best interest of all residents of Zionsville.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    I taught at the high school level for eight years and was a department chair for three years. I have served on and worked with a variety of boards focusing on youth.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    Parental rights, school board transparency and school board accountability

    What do you see as strengths at Zionsville Community Schools?

    ZCS has engaged parents, committed faculty and great facilities.

    What do you see as areas of improvement at Zionsville Community Schools?

    We need to focus on increasing literacy and improving competency in core academics so that we are competing globally. A concerted effort needs to be undertaken to create well-rounded citizens and to prepare our students to thrive in a global environment.

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters?

    As a former educator, I know how hard teachers have always worked to make sure that their classrooms are welcoming to all students. I believe that ZCS schools should be free from personal bias. Cultural diversity and various worldviews should be celebrated but the goal should always be unity, not divisiveness. Outcomes will vary but opportunity should always be equal.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels?

    We need to allow our teachers to focus on core curriculum – specifically math and reading. We ask a lot of our teachers – too much at times. It’s time to more carefully evaluate if what we’re requiring them to spend class time on is essential. This isn’t about teaching to a test because if we focus on core curriculum the scores will rise organically.

    How do you feel about Zionsville Community Schools’ efforts to address student safety? What changes, if any, would you like to see made?

    We need to ensure that our students are safe in our schools from threats inside and outside the building. I would advocate for greater building security and tougher consequences for those who are putting our kids at risk.

    What nonprofit, social clubs, volunteer groups, PACs or other organizations are you involved with?

    Parents For Accountable Schools, ZYSA, JVA, Boone County Republican Women’s Club

    Has your campaign received any endorsements? If so, please list.

    Parents for Accountable Schools, Jeff Papa (current board member), Moms For Liberty

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    I am fluent in Spanish, and I coached volleyball for 25 years.

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I believe strongly that we need to have a school board member who can view the issues affecting ZCS through the lens of a parent and that of a teacher.

Zionsville Community School Board Union Township

Jennifer Valentine, Michael Coussens and Marcus Such are running for the Union Township seat on the Zionsville Community Schools school board.

  • Michael Coussens

    Age: 50

    Education: B.S Aeronautics and Astronautics Engineering from Purdue University

    Occupation: Chief engineer for manufacturer of fire protection and municipal pumps

    City of residence: Zionsville

    How long have you resided in your school board district? My family and I moved into Zionsville more than 20 years ago.

    Immediate family: My wife Tracy and I will celebrate our 27th anniversary in December.  We have four children who have graduated from Union Elementary and Zionsville Middle School.   Our two oldest children are Zionsville Community High School (ZCHS) graduates, and our two younger daughters currently attend ZCHS.

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you: coussensforzcs.com.

    Previous political experience: For almost four years I have been honored to represent the entire school district as a school board member. While my seat is based on Union Township, the entire district (that’s to say Union and Eagle townships) elected me to this office.   

    Why do you want to run for school board?

    I feel that a refocus of support to the students and staff of ZCS is needed rather than a focus on school board and administrators. Secondly, as ZCS will have a new superintendent in early 2023, I feel it’s important that we have a board ready to support this transition as we continue to strive for ZCS to be one of the top schools in Indiana. While there are many worthwhile reasons to run for school board, I am running for reelection for these two main reasons.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    The past three-plus years have really opened my eyes to what it takes to be on a board for a public school in Indiana. In addition to this on-the-job training, my engineering background has helped me to look at each problem or opportunity from a very analytical perspective. During school board meetings, and every conversation I have with administrators and Zionsville residents, I strive to obtain the facts of the matter as I listen to input from others. I then research before acting or making a decision. Community members have shared their observations of me taking notes during meetings, and I also take meticulous notes on every email, phone call, and conversation in order to represent residents in my decisions.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    I have three focus areas for ZCS:  academics, safety, and financial responsibility.   

    1. Academics.
      I believe that our schools’ core mission is to educate our students. I also believe and have seen firsthand that students learn best in a supportive environment, taught by a staff that also feels supported and safe.
      In an ideal learning environment, students of all ages must feel connected to and encouraged by a web of supportive adults. We are best served when we provide learning opportunities and encourage cultural understandings while we teach our students. For three and a half years, I have based my board votes on whether our actions will aid or impede our mission to teach and support our students.
    2. Safety.
      As a Board Member, I feel that the safety of our students, staff, and visitors to our nine campuses must be a priority. I have supported Zionsville Community Schools’ continued journey to improve our schools’ safety by learning more about and encouraging our partnership with our local police partners at Zionsville Police Department and the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.  School safety is never about a single event, rather it is something that is improved upon each and every day.
    3. Financial Responsibility
      As the lowest publicly funded school per student in the state of Indiana, Zionsville Community Schools has continued to find ways to offer premium education to our students. Thanks to the support of our community, nearly one quarter of our teachers are funded by a local referendum. As a Board Member, I continue to support the financial strategic plan for the district as it aligns with monitoring growth while keeping close watch on taxation rates.

    What do you see as strengths at Zionsville Community Schools?

    A key strength of ZCS is the ability of the families to come together and to support and make a difference in the lives of the students.   

    What do you see as areas of improvement at Zionsville Community Schools?

    ZCS consistently ranks as a top school in the state each year. An area for improvement would be to help ensure there are programs and paths for students that may not be college-bound after graduating ZCHS. Additionally, there are concerns raised about the transparency and trust between parents/guardians and the Board of Trustees and Administration. By working together, we can achieve improvements in students’ education while being transparent in the process.

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters?

    ZCS has been on a journey to create Strong in Every Way (SIEW) since 2016. One of the domains is focus on Developing Cultural Understandings in age-appropriate ways, which has helped lead to the Everyone Belongs Here statement created by students and staff. I believe in these programs and support them with my actions by volunteering with our performing arts departments and in our community.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels?

    The entire world experienced learning loss and mental health decline during the pandemic. I believe that if we expect our students to catch up to our pre-pandemic academic standards, we need to ensure our students are mentally healthy, which sets them up to successfully learn. We also need to support our educators as they work hard to help our students “catch up.”

    How do you feel about Zionsville Community Schools’ efforts to address student safety?

    What changes, if any, would you like to see made?

    School safety continues to respond to the changing environment which is why I feel it’s important to keep a focus on it and regularly revisit policies. Monitoring our facilities and cultivating strong working relationships with our police partners at ZPD and BCSO are key factors to keeping our students and staff safe. I would like to see these relationships strengthened.

    What nonprofit, social clubs, volunteer groups, PACs or other organizations are you involved with?    

    I actively support the nearly 100 members of the Zionsville High School Marching Eagles every weekend. My youngest daughter, wife, and I volunteer with the Humane Society for Boone County. In 2017, we started volunteering as a family at the Zionsville Rotary Triathlon, and it has become a tradition we enjoy. I currently serve wherever there are needs at Zionsville United Methodist Church and in the community through ZUMC.   

    I am also a member and contributor to the mechanical organization Hydraulic Institute, which sets global standards for the pump industry.

    In 2004 I joined the Union Elementary School Dads Club and served several years as President. I have also served the entire district as a volunteer with the Zionsville Education Foundation (ZEF) Grants Committee and the band programs at Zionsville Middle School and ZCHS.

    Has your campaign received any endorsements? Please check my website (www.coussensforzcs.com) for current and future endorsements.

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    I grew up on a small farm and put myself through college by raising and selling sweet corn, which definitely shaped my strong work ethic. Also, I have a dry sense of humor. I love a great dad joke!

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I have a passion for giving back to this community that is my kids’ hometown. My time as a School Board Member has enabled me to help support not just my family but the entire community of Zionsville.

  • Marcus Such

    Age: 35

    Education: Graduate of Carmel High School, bachelor’s in actuarial science and in mathematics, master’s in business administration, Fellowship with the Society of Actuaries

    Occupation: Vice president and senior actuary

    City of residence: Zionsville

    How long have you resided in your school board district: Three years

    Immediate family: Wife Dawn, son, Andrew, 6, and daughter, Amelia, 3.

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you: Suchforschoolboard.com

    Previous political experience: None

    Why do you want to run for school board?

    I would like to make the school system better by leveraging my skill set and experience and making sure that parents have a voice in the education of their children.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    Business and finance background while leading organizations and teams, strong education, parent of ZCS student.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    Academics, accountability and transparency.

    What do you see as strengths at Zionsville Community Schools?

    ZCS has some great teachers and routinely achieves academic excellence compared to other schools in Indiana.

    What do you see as areas of improvement at Zionsville Community Schools?

    ZCS needs to be more open with parents regarding curriculum, plans and timelines for policies and projects, and intent surrounding controversial topics. The school board and administration must listen and consider the voices of the community in governing the school system.

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters? All students should feel safe and accepted at ZCS and within our community. I believe public school districts should rely on parental responsibility in educating our children on these matters, as they will be the best equipped to understand their child’s maturity level and ability to understand the complexity of the topic.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels?

    Reevaluation of curriculum and how it has changed since pre-pandemic times, and the shifting of SEL and DEI education to being a parental responsibility such that teachers can focus on academics.

    How do you feel about Zionsville Community Schools’ efforts to address student safety?

    What changes, if any, would you like to see made? I believe some efforts have been made, however there is always room for improvement. Recently a physical altercation occurred at the High School, resulting in a video spreading across the community. The school board and administration should communicate more broadly condemning such actions. In addition, I would suggest the formation of a committee consisting of teachers, administrators, and parents to assess risks and develop solutions that can be implemented across the school system.

    What nonprofit, social clubs, volunteer groups, PACs or other organizations are you involved with?

    Brookhaven HOA Board Member, Union Elementary Dad’s Club

    Has your campaign received any endorsements? If so, please list.

    None

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    I enjoy woodworking in my garage and baking with my daughter.

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I deeply care about making our school system a safe and enriching environment to prepare all our children for the rest of their lives.

  • Valentine

    Age: 50

    Education: B.S. Human Resource Management – Training and Development, Oakland University 1994

    Occupation: Stay-at-home mom of 4, weekly volunteer at HVAF (Helping Veterans And Families – homeless shelter in Indianapolis) and Christamore House Guild (house in Haughville in Indianapolis) that supports a preschool, after school care and scholarships to graduates.

    City of residence: Zionsville

    How long have you resided in your school board district? Nine years

    Immediate family: Husband, Kevin; children: Lily, 20; Noah, 18; Marcus, 14; Chris, 13

    Website or best way for voters to learn more about you: valentine4zcs.com

    Previous political experience: None

    Why do you want to run for school board?

    After attending school board meetings, especially over the past year, I am driven to represent the many families of the community that support the excellent history of our school system and want to see ongoing improvement and growth. It is important to me that teachers realize their value to us, as parents, and to our kids. I will listen, learn, and understand issues before judging or voting. I will be an advocate for parents, students, and teachers.

    What are your qualifications for this office?

    In my previous career as a manager for a CPA firm, I oversaw time and monetary budgets of accounting software implementations and conversions. Our main clients were automotive, repetitive manufacturers, so I know prompt, concise communication is key to success. I have been involved in various capacities with Zionsville schools since we arrived in 2014. I have spent hours with teachers and administrators discussing complicated issues, trips, logistics and helping to be a voice for parents when not all are available and present.

    What are the top three issues that your campaign will focus on?

    While I alone cannot solve the issues that I feel most passionate about, I can champion discussions to have a significant impact on collaborative decisions amongst the board members around these issues.

    1. Championing our teachers as highly-qualified educators. They are the ones who have put in the time to do a job they have earned. A favorite quote of mine is “The best teachers are those who show you where to look, but don’t tell you what to see.” By Alexandra K. Trenfor. 2. Prioritizing Mental Health efforts to make sure that students know it’s ok to not be ok. If you think a friend is struggling, say something. It’s always ok to ask for help.  3. Advocating that Everyone Belongs Here. I will help to make sure that voices are heard before making decisions about complicated topics. It is important that we listen and hear diverse viewpoints in our community to make the best decisions that affect our schools and students.

    What do you see as strengths at Zionsville Community Schools?

    Administrators and teachers. Communication and safety at all campuses has been well-thought out and my kids have never felt anything other than confident heading into school. Families move to Zionsville because of our great schools and the partnering culture between families, teachers, and schools.

    What do you see as areas of improvement at Zionsville Community Schools?

    Collaboration of school leaders and the school board. I appreciate different perspectives; I encourage all different ideas to be brought up and discussed, and I think that everyone should have a voice. The board members are representing the different townships in our school district and therefore vote as a representative of their district. I expect to work with and learn from others on the board with differing opinions. I am excited and positive we can affect change for the better to improve ZCS to be the best they can be and strong in every way.

    How do you believe public school districts should address diversity, equity and inclusion matters?

    Talk about them. Normalize having difficult discussions with kids and allowing them to ask questions – answer them using age-appropriate language. All are welcome here. All are included here. Our differences and our experiences are what make us grow and strengthen our community. I’m always interested in other families and their traditions/customs and think they should be celebrated.

    How can public schools help student test scores reach pre-pandemic levels?

    We should ask teachers what tools and strategies they would suggest getting our test scores up. Personally, my younger kids don’t have as much stamina doing homework and repetitive concepts as my older kids did. When my older kids were in elementary school in Michigan, we were told they would have 10 minutes of homework for 1st grade, 20 minutes for second grade, 30 minutes for third, etc. That stuck with us even when we moved here. If my daughter didn’t have 80 minutes of homework in 8th grade, she took the extra time to read.  It was an easy gauge for us to make sure our kids were putting in some extra work in addition to school days. I know kids are busier now more than ever but if we could incorporate ways in and out of the classroom to give them the tools to succeed in life with balance, then that is the end goal.

    How do you feel about Zionsville Community Schools’ efforts to address student safety?

    What changes, if any, would you like to see made? Overall, as a parent I have been pleased with the efforts and communication surrounding events related to physical and psychological safety. Being able to react to specific concerns and general safety should remain a top priority of our school system and our board.

    What nonprofit, social clubs, volunteer groups, PACs or other organizations are you involved with?

    I serve every Thursday at HVAF (Helping Veterans and Families) in Indianapolis. HVAF helps homeless and at-risk veterans return to self-sufficiency. On June 4, 2022, I was honored to receive the Daughters of the American Revolution Volunteer of the Year Award for my volunteer work at HVAF. I am also on the Christamore House Guild helping children in the Haughville community in Indianapolis. We plan and organize events and fundraisers to help these children thrive in preschool, after school care and all the way through college. I have also been on the Habitat for Humanity Women Build team for three years.

    Has your campaign received any endorsements?

    Verbal endorsement from Jennifer Carman, past president of the Christamore House Guild.

    Something most people don’t know about you?

    I’m the youngest of 7 kids. My mom went back to work when I was in the 2nd grade, so I started going to work with her the summer between second and third grades. It was a deli and I got to work cleaning windows, stocking shelves and coolers and even using the cash register when I got to the fourth grade. I worked there every summer and then throughout college and truly believe that is where I learned confidence to talk to all types of people, patience to listen to others even if we disagreed and my hard work ethic. I will never forget the time I was 10 years old, and I was asked to clean the windows (inside and out) on the doors of the tall drink coolers. I forgot to clean the inside of the rubber seals around the edges, so the owner called my mom that evening and asked me to come back the next day. I had earned $20 for that six-hour day cleaning windows and doing other tasks but had to go back the next day (for no pay) to do the job right.  That was an invaluable lesson that I never forgot.

    Something you want people to know about you?

    I’m a learner not a “knower”. I don’t always have to be right, but I like to get it right through listening, researching, and documenting the topic or issue in front of me. I will listen to the experts, but I will also validate details whenever I can. I work hard to make sure that what I say is truly what I believe and not just what others want to hear. I think those supporting me and voting for me know that I am a do-er. I am a positive, genuine person with a giving heart and fight for what is right for the many. I don’t need accolades or credit; I just need to know I did my best and that I’m trying to make a positive impact on the community around me.

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