Contested school board races set for Center Grove, Indian Creek, Franklin, Greenwood

Ballots are set for this fall’s school board elections across Johnson County’s six public school districts. The deadline to file passed Thursday.

For about a month, residents interested in running for 14 seats across the Center Grove, Clark-Pleasant, Edinburgh, Franklin, Greenwood and Indian Creek school districts have made their way to the Johnson County Courthouse to file their petitions for nominations. While the first week of filing started off slow with only three filings, the last two days were much busier with seven candidates filing paperwork for the non-partisan seats.

Contested races have been set in four school districts: Center Grove, Franklin, Greenwood and Indian Creek. Franklin and Indian Creek are the only two districts to see two contested races each this fall.

For Center Grove, five candidates — including two incumbents — are seeking two at-large seats. Incumbents Amy Counts and Rob Daniels have filed for reelection for the seats they’ve held since 2020 and 2017, respectively.

Three new candidates have also emerged. They are Charity Flores, an educator who used to work for the Indiana Department of Education; Nicole Kemp, a Center Grove parent who is the founder and manager of the Every Kids Eats initiative and a Greenwood Pride board member; and Robbie Williams, who unsuccessfully ran for county coroner in the May Republican primary.

Franklin’s school board has three seats up for election — two city of Franklin seats and one Franklin Township seat.

For the city of Franklin seat, four people have filed: incumbent Kristi Ott and challengers Jared Hoesel, Brett Jones and Jennifer Briggs Mann. Incumbent Bryan Wertz is not seeking reelection.

Ott has served on the board since 2013. Hoesel is director of projects at F.A. Wilhelm Construction and Jones is the street commissioner and fleet manager for Franklin.

As for the Franklin Township seat, resident Maureen Burkardt and city parks board member Debbie Gill have filed. Incumbent Andrew Lamm is not seeking another term.

In Greenwood, District 3 incumbent Chris Zaborowsky is facing a challenge from Sheila Martin, a former employee of the school district. The District 1 seat is uncontested as the only candidate to file was Peggy Daeger, who previously ran for an at-large seat in 2022 but was not elected. District 1 incumbent Deanna Burton is not seeking another term.

For the Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson school board, more commonly referred to as Indian Creek, both the Nineveh Township seat and the two at-large seats are contested.

Thomas A. Burgett, the incumbent representing the Nineveh Township seat since being elected in 2016, is facing a challenge from Brian Young. For the at-large seats, incumbent Ed Harvey is facing challenges from Yard Signs owner Tessa Key and Cathy Cook of Trafalgar. At-large incumbent Greg Waltz is not seeking reelection.

For the board’s Nineveh Township seat, only residents of that township can vote. With at-large seats, voters in the Nineveh and Hensley townships of Johnson County and Jackson Township in Morgan County can vote.

Only Clark-Pleasant and Edinburgh have completely uncontested offices this fall.

At Clark Pleasant, Pleasant Township incumbent Dave Thompson and at-large incumbent Butch Zike are unchallenged in their reelection bids. As for Edinburgh, incumbent Cathy J. Hamm and candidate Carol Swanson are unchallenged for the board’s two at-large seats that are up. Incumbent Curtis Rooks is not seeking reelection.


Here’s a look at who is running for school boards across Johnson County’s six districts.

Center Grove School Board

At-Large (2 seats)

Amy Counts

Rob Daniels

Charity Flores

Nicole M. Kemp

Robert (Robbie) Williams

Clark-Pleasant School Board

Pleasant Township (1 seat)

David R. (Dave) Thompson

Clark-Pleasant School Board

At Large (1 seat)

Vernon (Butch) S. Zike Jr.

Edinburgh School Board

At-Large (2 seats)

Cathy J. Hamm

Carol Swanson

Franklin Community School Board

City of Franklin (2 seats)

Jared L. Hoesel

Brett Jones

Jennifer Briggs Mann

Kristine M. Ott

Franklin Township (1 seat)

Maureen Burkardt

Deborah Lea (Debbie) Gill

Greenwood Community School Board

District 1 (1 seat)

Peggy Daeger

District 3 (1 seat)

Christopher (Chris) Zaborowsky

Sheila Martin

Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson School Board

Nineveh Township [only Nineveh Twp. Votes] (1 seat)

Thomas A. Burgett

Brian Young

At-Large (2 seats)

Cathleen (Cathy) Cook

Ed Harvey

Tessa Dawn Key