Hendricks County Flyer, Avon, IN

November 7, 2012

School board races see some upsets

Steven Penn

DANVILLE — For the first time in a General Election, Hendricks County voters hit the polls in an effort to help decide the future of area schools.

In the race for Avon Community School Board, Anne L. Engelhardt (20.08 percent), David D. Webb (19.45 percent), and Kim Woodward (19.34 percent), were elected by a vote count of 8,385, 8,123, and 8,073, respectively.

For the Brownsburg Community School Board, voters had two challenged positions to decide on and one that was unopposed.

Richard Sutton was unopposed in his bid for the Brown Township position. The Lincoln Seat 1 position was claimed by Phil Utterback by a count of 7,919 votes (55.32 percent) to Kim Lucas’ 6,397 (44.68 percent). For the Lincoln seat 2 position, Kimberly S. Armstrong won with 7,914 votes (58.54 percent) to Angela Halsey’s 5,606 (41.46 percent).

The Danville Community School Board race featured a close battle for the At-Large position.

Nineteen-year-old Luke Stephenson ousted at-large incumbent Brandon Lawson by a vote count of 2,666 (51.37 percent) to 2,524 (48.63).

Stephenson — who graduated from Danville Community High School last year — said his age proved to be one of his biggest assets.

“For me, it was one of those situations where people thought (my age) was one of my biggest disadvantages ... I looked at it as one of my biggest advantages,” he said.  “I just came out of there. I can say this is working, this isn’t working.”

Stephenson added he has a good relationship with people in all levels of the school corporation, from administration, to teachers and students.

The Center Township position was won by challengers Michael C. Beaty and Matt Steward, who tallied 2,235 (23.40 percent) and 2,019 (21.14 percent) votes respectively.

Steward said he was motivated to run for school board because he wants to improve the school corporation.

“I didn’t aspire to be a school board member,” he said. “The important thing was, we saw so many deficiencies in the school corporation that over time we felt someone needed to do something, and so I decided to run at that point ... I want us to have stronger schools ... I grew up here and went to Danville schools.”

Steward added that his experience in politics is something that will give him an edge.

“I’ve worked within state and city government, so I understand government budgets, government financing, and a lot of the challenging aspects of that the school board members are going to have (to deal with),” he said. “I thought those qualifications led to me being, probably, a pretty good candidate.”

The Mill Creek Community School Schools at-large position was won by Missy Branscum, with 1,633 votes (53.31 percent), over Jim Bryant and Jerry Jones, who tallied 873 (28.50 percent), and 557 votes (18.18 percent) respectively.

Timothy A. Whicker ran unopposed for the Clay Township position, while Franklin Township was claimed by Gina Boatright, with 1,854 votes (63.86 percent) to Charlie Morris’ 1,049 (36.14 percent).

The Northwest Hendricks Community School Board race featured two unopposed candidates, in Judy Pingel, at-large, and Steve Sprecher, Middle Township.

The Plainfield Community Schools Guilford Township race was won by Scott J. Flood, with 6,667 votes (27.63 percent), Dana L. Johnson, 6,072 votes (25.17 percent), and David E. Mansfield, with 5,873 votes (24.34 percent).