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You Can Still Run for School Board This Year

Microphone in front of audience

The deadline to file to run for your local school board in the November election is fast approaching on June 20 (at noon). The filing period was moved earlier in the year for this election cycle, giving candidates more time to campaign.

Hamilton County’s school boards have been on the front lines as extremists attempt to take them over, weaken public schools, ban inclusion efforts, and enact censorship agendas. So it is crucial to have good candidates with all students’ best interests at heart.

Open Positions

HamCo school boards looking to fill board positions for 2025 are the following:

  • Carmel Clay: Three candidates have filed so far for two at-large seats. As of this writing, no incumbents had filed for reelection.

  • Hamilton Heights: Two seats are up for election: Jackson Township (one filing, incumbent Kevin Cavanaugh) and White River Township (one filing, incumbent Gretchen Pennington).

  • Hamilton Southeastern: Three seats are up for election: Delaware Township (one seat, no filings), Fall Creek Township (one seat, one filing: incumbent Suzanne Thomas), and Wayne Township (one seat, two filings, including incumbent Sarah Parks-Reese). 

  • Noblesville: Three at-large seats are up for election. Current members Cristi Crosser and Stephanie Lambert are running for reelection. They are among six people who have already filed to be on the ballot.

  • Sheridan: Two seats representing Marion Township are up for election. Incumbent Dan Fleming is the only candidate to have filed so far.

  • Westfield Washington: Two seats are up for election: District 1 (one seat, one filing) and District 3 (one seat, which incumbent Carl Mike Steele has filed for).

What Do School Boards Do?

From this very informative story from WFYI, school boards have four key duties:

  • Adopting policies, such as creation of the student handbook and integration of state and federal regulations

  • Hiring and evaluating the superintendent

  • Approval of the annual budget and overall fiscal oversight

  • Strategic goals for the district

Carmel Clay Schools has an informative presentation for prospective school board members here.

Why We Need YOU on our School Boards?

School boards have significant impacts, as seen in recent conservative efforts to push out inclusive superintendents and censor library books. With the non-partisan nature of school board elections, it's vital to have candidates who prioritize equity, inclusion, and the best interests of all students.

The impact of school boards in Hamilton County continues to be felt. In September 2023, HSE Superintendent Yvonne Stokes was pushed out by the newly elected conservative-leaning school board, ostensibly for her diversity and inclusion efforts. In 2022, a new conservative majority on the Hamilton East Public Library Board quickly set about censoring books, tormenting the director, and wasting tens of thousands of dollars on political grandstanding. School board members in Noblesville and Fishers have a say in several of this board’s future appointments.

It’s important to note that school board elections are considered "non-partisan." The Hamilton County Democratic Party does not endorse candidates. However, we have observed that in recent elections, school board races have become more partisan, with significant donations coming into our county to support ultra-conservative candidates.

Do we really want out-of-state influencers with nefarious motives controlling our local schools?

How Do I Get Started?

To file as a school board candidate, gather at least 10 signatures from registered voters in your school district on the CAN-34 form, and file it along with the CAN-12 form with the county clerk’s office (see more info here).


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