Johnson County school board races in the most populous districts have a crowded field of candidates after a year of parent-packed and sometimes raucous meetings. A few members have opted not to return, but many more are stepping forward to run for office.
Center Grove Community School Corporation’s board president Joe Hubbard is one member who isn’t running again. He said he is instead planning to challenge Greenwood Mayor Mark Myers in the 2023 Republican primary. Hubbard was named school board president this year after being elected to the board in 2018. He is an air force veteran and owner of ATM Indy and ATMs for Veterans.
There are a total of 29 school board candidates who filed for election before the Friday deadline. No more candidates can toss their hats in the ring and candidates can still withdraw by noon Monday.
More than half the candidates filed to run in either the Clark-Pleasant or Center Grove school districts.
Center Grove Community School Corporation has eight candidates running for three spots, all of which are at-large. Though Hubbard won’t be defending his seat, Scott Alexander and Jack Russell will be defending theirs. Challengers for the three seats include Douglas Bohall, Bill Collins, Bruce Guiliani, Derek Payne and Gary Robinson, according to the candidate filing list compiled by Johnson County Clerk’s Office.
The Clark-Pleasant Community School Corporation school board has seven candidates running for three spots, two for Clark Township residents and one for a Pleasant Township resident. Craig Koch and Kent Beeson will defend their Clark Township seats against challenger Linda Polesel, while Pleasant Township member Kimberly Crawford is headed into a four-way race She will take on three challengers: Beatrice Dunn, Bryan Neer and Amber Treasure, according to the candidate list.
Franklin Community School Corporation board member Ryan Waggoner didn’t file to retain his Needham Township school board seat, but Jake Sappenfield has filed to run for the position. Becky Nelson will defend her current seat representing Union Township against challenger Matthew Cree, according to the list.
“I think it’s always good to get new blood on these kinds of boards, do four years, give it my all and make way for the next person. I was nervous about who would step in, but Jake Sappenfield is a great guy. He will be a huge upgrade and a huge win for Franklin schools,” Waggoner said. “I’m really proud of the ability of the board to survive crisis after crisis. It was an unprecedented four years, and I think no matter what was thrown at us, people screaming at meetings or a global pandemic, we always focused on the kids.”
For Greenwood Community School Corporation, five people are running for three spots. Incumbent Jack Napier will run unopposed for the District 2 seat, while Brian Ford and Mike Metzger will defend their seats against challengers Peggy Daeger and Chad Shaffer, according to the list.
Indian Creek school board member Judy Misiniec won’t face a challenger in her bid for reelection to the Hensley Township seat on Johnson County ballots. In Morgan County, voters will choose between incumbent Ben Swopes and challenger Amy Woodrum, who will vie for the Jackson Township spot, according to the list.
There is no competition for the Edinburgh school board seats on the ballot. Incumbents Daniel Teter and David Bauman are running unopposed, as is newcomer Ryan Blaker.