Flurry of school board elections heading to ballots in Georgia, New York

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May 16, 2014

By Daniel Anderson and Nick Katers

On May 20, 2014, 15 of the largest school districts by enrollment in New York and 38 in Georgia will hold school board elections for 47 and 121 seats, respectively. There are 125 incumbents and 182 challengers running for the combined total of 168 seats.

In New York, spring school board elections take place on the same date as each district's annual budget vote. Residents will vote on both the school board candidates and on the school district budgets proposed by the existing school boards.[1]

In Georgia, a mixture of partisan and nonpartisan school board elections are being held. The nonpartisan elections will function as general elections, although if no candidate in a single race receives a simple majority of the vote, a runoff election will be held between the top two candidates on July 22, 2014. There are 21 Georgia school districts holding nonpartisan general elections: Bibb, Bulloch, Camden, Carroll, Catoosa, Clarke, Colquitt, Columbia, Coweta, DeKalb, Effingham, Fulton, Griffin-Spalding, Henry, Houston, Liberty, Lowndes, Muscogee, Rockdale, Savannah-Chatham and Troup.

In contrast, the partisan races will function as primary elections. If more than one candidate from a single political party filed for a seat, then the top candidate on Tuesday will proceed to a general election on November 4, 2014. However, if no candidate in the primary election receives a simple majority of the vote, then a runoff election will be held between the top two candidates on July 22, 2014, similar to the nonpartisan system. There are 17 Georgia school districts holding partisan primary elections: Barrow, Bartow, Cherokee, Clayton, Dougherty, Douglas, Fayette, Floyd, Forsyth, Glynn, Gwinnett, Hall, Newton, Paulding, Walker, Walton and Whitfield.

The nonpartisan election for board president in Savannah-Chatham County Public School System has attracted plenty of campaign contributions and attention. Sadie C. Brown, Jolene Byrne, Chester A. Ellis, George Seaborough and David Simons are running to replace Joe Buck, who cannot run again due to the seat's two-term limit. Simons, the owner of a local consulting firm, has been a prolific fundraiser this spring, raising $50,616 out of the $68,071 in reported contributions among the five candidates. He has also drawn an ethics complaint and a civil lawsuit for his lobbying efforts on behalf of a local construction firm contracted to build a new school. Brown, Byrne and Ellis have taught at district schools while Seaborough is a former organizer for the Service Employees International Union (SEIU).[2]

Spotlight: DeKalb County School District

DeKalb County School District seal.png

DeKalb County School District is the third-largest school district in Georgia, educating 98,088 students during the 2011-2012 school year.[3] After the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools (SACS) audited the school district and discovered issues with board governance, unethical practices and fiscal mismanagement, the organization placed DeKalb County School District on "accredited probation" status. An investigation by the Georgia Department of Education led to the state board of education recommending significant alterations to the district leadership and administration.[4]

In February 2013, Georgia Governor Nathan Deal removed six members of the DeKalb Board of Education from office. One month later, Governor Deal appointed John Coleman to District 1, Michael A. Erwin to District 3, David Campbell to District 5, Joyce Morley to District 7, Karen Carter to District 8 and Thad Mayfield to District 9.[5] On January 21, 2014, the Southern Association of Colleges and Schools announced that the district was no longer under probation and moved it up to "accreditation warned" status.[6] The "accreditation warned" label means that SACS will continue to monitor the district and conduct a review of district progress in May 2014.[7]

The general election on May 20, 2014, will result in several significant changes to the board. The number of seats will shrink from nine to seven, leading to the District 4 race between District 4 incumbent Jim McMahan and District 8 incumbent Karen Carter, whose seat will no longer exist following the election. District 9 incumbent Thad Mayfield is campaigning for the District 5 seat for the same reason. Jesse Cunningham, who served as the District 5 representative from 2006 to 2013, is running to win his seat back after he was removed from office by Governor Deal.[8]

Newcomer Stan Jester in District 1 is the only candidate running unopposed. The District 2 race featuring incumbent Marshall Orson and challenger Don McChesney is the third contest in 12 years between the two men over the seat. McChesney defeated Orson and fellow newcomer Ella Smith for the seat in 2008, but Orson won the rematch in 2012. Michael A. Erwin, Melvin Johnson and Joyce Morley are running to retain their Districts 3, 6 and 7 seats, respectively. Two of the six appointees, John Coleman and David Campbell, decided not to run for re-election.[9] The elections in Districts 2, 4 and 6 are for full four-year terms, but the elections in Districts 1, 3, 5 and 7 are for two-year terms.[10]

Candidates

Note: An (i) next to a candidate's name indicates incumbent status.

Georgia

Barrow County School System
District 1

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Blake Foster
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Randall Holland (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Debi Krause

UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Betty Kinney

District 3

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Connie Wehunt (i)

District 4

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Rhonda Black
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Will Dunn (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Michael Shelley

District 7

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Suzanne Angle
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Charles Chase III
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Diane Loomis

District 9

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party DuWayne Anderson
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Mark Still

Bartow County School System
District 1

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party John Howard (i)

UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Paul Nally

District 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Davis Nelson (i)

District 3

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Deanna Berry
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Derek Keeney

Bibb County School District
At-large Post 7

UncheckedBox.jpg James Bumpus
UncheckedBox.jpg Daryl Morton

At-large Post 8

UncheckedBox.jpg Darren Latch
UncheckedBox.jpg Wanda West (i)

Bulloch County Schools
District 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Mike Sparks (i)

District 4

UncheckedBox.jpg Steve Hein (i)

District 5

UncheckedBox.jpg Vernon Littles (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Glennera Martin

District 6

UncheckedBox.jpg Jay Cook, Jr.
UncheckedBox.jpg Anshul Jain (i)

Camden County Schools
District 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Jane W. Brown (i)

District 4

UncheckedBox.jpg Herbert Rowland (i)

Carroll County Schools
District 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Sandra A. Morris (i)

District 5

UncheckedBox.jpg Donald L. Nixon (i)

District 6

UncheckedBox.jpg Jon Anderson (i)

Catoosa County Public Schools
District 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Jack Simms

District 4

UncheckedBox.jpg David Moeller (i)

Cherokee County School District
District 3

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party John Arlen Harmon
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Brett Ladd

District 4

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Robert Rechsteiner (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Robert H. Strozier

District 5

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Clark Menard
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Erica Williams

District 6

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Mike Chapman
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Susan Tlacil

Clarke County School District
District 1

UncheckedBox.jpg Gregory Davis

District 3

UncheckedBox.jpg Linda Elder Davis (i)

District 5

UncheckedBox.jpg Sarah Ellis (i)

District 7

UncheckedBox.jpg Carol S. Williams (i)

District 9

UncheckedBox.jpg Ovita Thornton

Clayton County Public Schools
District 1

UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Pamela Adamson (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Angel McSwain

District 4

UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Kithya "Ya" Kim
UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Michael King (i)

District 8

UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Alieka Anderson (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Jeffery Benoit

District 9

UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Charlton L. Bivins (i)

Colquitt County Schools
District 1

UncheckedBox.jpg Trudie Hill (i)

District 4

UncheckedBox.jpg Robbie Pitts

District 5

UncheckedBox.jpg Patricia H. Anderson (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Jerry W. Holmes
UncheckedBox.jpg Billy Taylor

Columbia County School System
District 1

UncheckedBox.jpg Kristi P. Baker (i)

District 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Staten Heard
UncheckedBox.jpg Mike Sleeper (i)

Coweta County School System
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Larry Robertson (i)

District 1

UncheckedBox.jpg Amy Dees (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Monica Terrell

District 3

UncheckedBox.jpg Harry Mullins (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Jane Horne

District 4

UncheckedBox.jpg Graylin Ward (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Linda Menk

DeKalb County School District
District 1

UncheckedBox.jpg Stan Jester

District 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Marshall Orson (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Don McChesney

District 3

UncheckedBox.jpg Michael A. Erwin (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Jerrie D. Bason
UncheckedBox.jpg Jarrod Jordan
UncheckedBox.jpg Atticus LeBlanc
UncheckedBox.jpg Willie R. Mosley, Jr.

District 4

UncheckedBox.jpg Jim McMahan (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Karen Carter (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg John Oselette
UncheckedBox.jpg Ella Smith

District 5

UncheckedBox.jpg Thad Mayfield (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Pia Bhatti
UncheckedBox.jpg Jesse Cunningham
UncheckedBox.jpg R. Alexander Fitzhugh
UncheckedBox.jpg Vickie B. Turner

District 6

UncheckedBox.jpg Melvin Johnson (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Bridgeman Bolger

District 7

UncheckedBox.jpg Joyce Morley (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Kim Ault
UncheckedBox.jpg Lee V. Dukes

Dougherty County School System
District 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Milton Griffin (i)

District 4

UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Aaron Johnson
UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Melissa Strother

District 6

UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Shirlette Davis-Marcus
UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Princess Milledge
UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Dean Phinazee

Douglas County School System
District 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party D. T. Jackson

District 3

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Janet Kelly (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Tracy Rookard

District 4

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Sam Haskell (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Lauren McCoy

UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Tyler L. Barr
UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Denny Bridges
UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Michelle Simmons

Effingham County Schools
District 1

UncheckedBox.jpg Robert Grant

District 4

UncheckedBox.jpg Elizabeth Helmly
UncheckedBox.jpg Faith Jaudon
UncheckedBox.jpg Ben Johnson
UncheckedBox.jpg Amanda Phillips

Fayette County Board of Education
District 4

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Diane Basham
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Mindette “Mindy” Fredrickson
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party John Kimbell
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Sam Haskell

UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Jane L. Owens

District 5

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Dean B. Dunton

UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Leonard Presberg (i)

Floyd County Schools
District 1

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Chip Hood
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Tony Potts
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Terry Williamson (i)

District 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Rodney Dillard
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Tony Daniel

Forsyth County Schools
District 1

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Ann K. Crow (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Amanda E. Nixon
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Theodore Weiss

District 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Kristin Morrissey (i)

Fulton County Schools
District 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Katie Reeves (i)

District 5

UncheckedBox.jpg Linda McCain (i)

District 6

UncheckedBox.jpg Catherine Maddox (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Joél L. Joseph
UncheckedBox.jpg DeAndre S. Pickett

District 7

UncheckedBox.jpg Julia Bernath (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Kate Wittschen

Glynn County School System
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Sandy Dean
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Mike Hulsey (i)

District 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Millard Allen (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Gloria Burns

District 4

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Hank B. Yeargin

UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Dorothy H. Stewart

Griffin-Spalding County School System
District 1

UncheckedBox.jpg Michael Kendall (i)

District 3

UncheckedBox.jpg Bob Gilreath
UncheckedBox.jpg Zach Holmes (i)

District 5

UncheckedBox.jpg Pete Graham (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Tim Jones

Gwinnett County Public Schools
District 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Leon T. Hobbs
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Ileana S. McCaigue
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Dan Seckinger (i)

District 4

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Bob McClure (i)

UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Zachary Rushing

Hall County Schools
Post 1

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Samuel R. Chapman (i)

Post 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Traci McBride
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Mark Pettitt
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Brian G. Sloan (i)

At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Paul Wayne Godfrey
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party William E. Thompson (i)

Henry County Schools
District 4

UncheckedBox.jpg Virgil Brannon
UncheckedBox.jpg Donna McBride

District 5

UncheckedBox.jpg Erik Charles
UncheckedBox.jpg Annette Edwards (i)

Houston County Schools
District 1

UncheckedBox.jpg Rick Unruh (i)

District 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Marianne Melnick (i)

District 4

UncheckedBox.jpg Fred Wilson (i)

Post 6 (At-large)

UncheckedBox.jpg Sheila L. Ashley
UncheckedBox.jpg Griff Clements
UncheckedBox.jpg Hoke Morrow

Post 7 (At-large)

UncheckedBox.jpg Tannya T. Duncan
UncheckedBox.jpg Robbin Jackson
UncheckedBox.jpg Andy Rodriguez
UncheckedBox.jpg Bryan Upshaw
UncheckedBox.jpg Doug Wechsler

Liberty County School System
Chair (At-large)

UncheckedBox.jpg Lily H. Baker (i)

District 4

UncheckedBox.jpg Marcia Anderson (i)

District 5

UncheckedBox.jpg Lillie Kelly
UncheckedBox.jpg Marcus Scott IV

District 6

UncheckedBox.jpg Sampie W. Smith

Lowndes County Schools
District 1

UncheckedBox.jpg Mike Davis (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Bobby Watford

District 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Mark Barber
UncheckedBox.jpg Eric Johnson
UncheckedBox.jpg Tara Parker

District 3

UncheckedBox.jpg Brian Browning (i)

Muscogee County School District
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Kia Chambers
UncheckedBox.jpg Owen Ditchfield
UncheckedBox.jpg Nate Sanderson

District 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Victor Morales
UncheckedBox.jpg John "Bart" Steed
UncheckedBox.jpg John F. Thomas
UncheckedBox.jpg John Wells (i)

District 4

UncheckedBox.jpg Naomi Buckner (i)

District 6

UncheckedBox.jpg Mark Cantrell (i)

District 8

UncheckedBox.jpg Beth Harris (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Frank Myers

Newton County Schools
District 1

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Stan Edwards

District 3

UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Shakila Henderson-Baker (i)

District 5

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Abigail Coggin (i)

Paulding County School District
District 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Nick Chester (i)

District 5

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Earl Cosgrove
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Sammy McClure (i)

District 6

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Kim Curl (i)

Rockdale County Public Schools
Post 1

UncheckedBox.jpg Jim McBrayer (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Alberteen Young

Post 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Katrina McCollum Young (i)

Savannah-Chatham County Public School System
President

UncheckedBox.jpg Sadie C. Brown
UncheckedBox.jpg Jolene Byrne
UncheckedBox.jpg Chester A. Ellis
UncheckedBox.jpg George Seaborough
UncheckedBox.jpg David Simons

District 4

UncheckedBox.jpg Shawn A. Kachmar (i)

District 5

UncheckedBox.jpg Irene G. Hines (i)

District 6

UncheckedBox.jpg Larry Lower (i)

District 8

UncheckedBox.jpg Ruby D. Jones (i)

Troup County School System
District 1

UncheckedBox.jpg Allen Simpson (i)

District 4

UncheckedBox.jpg Ted Alford (i)

District 7

UncheckedBox.jpg Eric Cedek Davenport
UncheckedBox.jpg Alfred McNair (i)

Walker County Schools
District 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Charles Wilson

District 3

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Mike Carruth (i)

Walton County School District
District 1

UncheckedBox.jpg Democratic Party Lynn E. Hill (i)

District 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Jeremy V. Kilburn (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Charles J. Wilson III

District 5

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Tom Gibson (i)

Whitfield County Schools
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Bill Worley (i)

District 2

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Jamie Johnson
UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Rodney Lock (i)

District 4

UncheckedBox.jpg Republican Party Louis D. Fordham

New York

Arlington Central School District
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Peter Bodnar
UncheckedBox.jpg Pauline Herr
UncheckedBox.jpg Sean Johnston (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Jim Shuttleworth (i)

Brentwood Union Free School District
Seat 1 (Moss seat)

UncheckedBox.jpg Elizabeth Mercado
UncheckedBox.jpg Wendy Rodriguez
UncheckedBox.jpg Michael Sgroi
UncheckedBox.jpg George Talley
UncheckedBox.jpg Timothy Wilson

Seat 2 (Jahkhah seat)

UncheckedBox.jpg Michael Jahkhah (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Helen Moss (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Eileen Felix

Greece Central School District
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Lisa Christoffel
UncheckedBox.jpg Richard Cunningham
UncheckedBox.jpg Bill Maloney
UncheckedBox.jpg Sean McCabe (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Kristo Miettinen

Half Hollow Hills Central School District
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Diana Acampora (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Betty DeSabato (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Craig Gardy
UncheckedBox.jpg Matthew Glaser
UncheckedBox.jpg Stephanie Gurin
UncheckedBox.jpg Adam Kleinberg
UncheckedBox.jpg Alan Lacher
UncheckedBox.jpg Paul Peller (i)

Middle Country Central School District
Seat 1 (Feldmann seat)

UncheckedBox.jpg Doreen Feldmann (i)

Seat 2 (Hill seat)

UncheckedBox.jpg Daniel Hill (i)

Seat 3 (Parker seat)

UncheckedBox.jpg Debbie Parker (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Dawn Sharrock

New Rochelle School District
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Sal Fernandez
UncheckedBox.jpg Jeffrey Hastie (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Rick Monzon

Newburgh Enlarged City School District
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Andres Arestin
UncheckedBox.jpg George Bowles, Jr.
UncheckedBox.jpg Kenneth Copertino
UncheckedBox.jpg Dawn Fucheck (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Mark Levinstein (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Runston Lewis
UncheckedBox.jpg Carole Mineo
UncheckedBox.jpg Sheila Murphy
UncheckedBox.jpg Robert Pagliaro
UncheckedBox.jpg David Rein
UncheckedBox.jpg Darren Stridiron
UncheckedBox.jpg William Swart
UncheckedBox.jpg Nathan Vesely
UncheckedBox.jpg Thomas Woodhull (i)

North Syracuse Central School District
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Sandra DiBianco
UncheckedBox.jpg Elizabeth Kasch
UncheckedBox.jpg Scot McClintock (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Michael A. Mirizio (i)

Sachem Central School District
Seat 1 (Ahearn seat)

UncheckedBox.jpg Teri Ahearn (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Sara Wottawa

Seat 2 (Lampitelli seat)

UncheckedBox.jpg Kelly Burnham
UncheckedBox.jpg Dorothy Roberts (i)

Seat 3 (Roberts seat)

UncheckedBox.jpg Victor J. Canales

Schenectady City School District
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Tanya Hall
UncheckedBox.jpg Cheryl Nechamen (i)

Shenendehowa Central School District
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Mary Blaauboer (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Bill Casey (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Scott Johnson
UncheckedBox.jpg James Trainor (i)

Smithtown Central School District
Seat 1 (McEnroy seat)

UncheckedBox.jpg Joanne McEnroy (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Jill McDowell

Seat 2 (Plourde seat)

UncheckedBox.jpg Grace Plourde (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Michelle Lintelman

Seat 3 (Waldron seat)

UncheckedBox.jpg Gladys Waldron (i)

Utica City School District
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Michele Mandia (i)

Wappingers Central School District
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Matthew Henning
UncheckedBox.jpg Peggy Kelland
UncheckedBox.jpg Anne M. LaValle
UncheckedBox.jpg John Lumia (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Emanuele Marinaro
UncheckedBox.jpg Tracy V. Pelton
UncheckedBox.jpg Stephen Perillo
UncheckedBox.jpg Charles J. Ricotta
UncheckedBox.jpg Seema Rizvi
UncheckedBox.jpg Ved Shravah (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Eddy A. Sloshower

Williamsville Central School District
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Patricia Losito (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Michael Schmidt (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Ronald Shubert (i)

See also

References