October 25, 2020

SMH

Santa Maria History

OT presents: 2020 Voter’s Guide – Board of Education races

Seats are up for grabs on both the Owensboro and Daviess County boards of education. Candidates were asked to provide background information and give a brief description of their platform.

Candidates are listed in the order they appear on the ballot.

For the Owensboro Board of Education race, four candidates are vying for three seats.

For the Daviess County Board of Education race, there are a total of three races. In the 3rd and 4th Educational Districts, two candidates are vying for one seat. One candidate is running unopposed in the 5th Educational District.


Owensboro Independent School Board


Jeremy Edge

Age: 44

Education: University of Kentucky (Bachelor of Science)

Occupation: Vice President and Financial Advisor at R.W. Baird

Elected Offices: President of Owensboro Board of Education (current)

Platform: If I am reelected, I pledge to continue being a voice for the families of the Owensboro Public School system. I have two children in the district, so I appreciate the impact of the board’s decisions. Additionally, I hear firsthand, from my kids, what is working and not working in our schools and am able to take that information directly to the board. The board should be good stewards of taxpayer money; we have done that the last four years. We just passed a tax rate that is the lowest school tax rate our taxpayers have seen in a decade. We have increased instructional funding and greatly improved our facilities. We have continued to increase funding to our arts programs, which is why they are second to none and we have elevated our innovation programs. I humbly ask for your vote and the opportunity to keep moving our district forward.


Leigh Doyal

Leigh Rhoads Doyal

Age: 42

Education: Madisonville North Hopkins High School; Furman University (B.A. Double Major in Political Science and Religion); University of Kentucky School of Law

Occupation: Attorney at Rhoads & Rhoads P.S.C.

Elected offices held: None

Platform: Our schools are facing unprecedented challenges. We need leaders willing to boldly lead and I’m ready for the challenge. Safely reopening schools requires excellent communication, creativity, and collaboration — skills I could bring to the table. If elected, I will also use my advocacy skills as an attorney to ask tough questions to ensure that every student’s needs are equally considered and to ensure financial accountability. My priorities would include 1) caring for the mental health of students and staff, 2) investing in our teachers, 3) increasing collaboration among schools and community organizations, and 4) increasing the rigor of curriculum so that our students remain competitive in either the workplace or in postsecondary education. Healthy schools are foundational to the health of our community.  I would be honored to serve on the OPS Board and ask for your vote on November 3. For additional information, please visit my campaign Facebook page.


Melissa Decker

Melissa Decker

Age: 53

Education: Western Kentucky University (B.A.)

Occupation: Homemaker

Elected offices held: Owensboro Public Schools Board of Education (2017-present)

Platform: I first began volunteering in our schools because I wanted to help students, teachers, families, and the school community. I wanted to do what I could to help our children get a solid education so that they would have the tools needed to grow into happy, successful adults who give back to the community that they live in. Volunteering eventually led to being elected to the school board. My feelings have not changed since first running. I still volunteer in our schools, but I also do things like lobby state lawmakers, reminding them that our schools need their support. Every decision I make is made with the needs of our students, teachers, and families in mind. I believe in the pillars of Owensboro Public Schools, “Tradition, Innovation, Excellence.” OPS is a wonderful school system and I want to be part of the team that continues its success and growth.


Mallory Leucht

Mallory Leucht

Age: 31

Education: Daviess County High School; Kentucky Wesleyan College; Western Kentucky University

Occupation: Student Financial Aid Specialist at Owensboro Community and Technical College; Diversity and Global Studies Committee Resident Director at Kentucky Wesleyan College

Elected offices held: NonePlatform: I will advocate for the working families within our district. We need more parental and student support for those without the resources to school their children at home during the pandemic. OPS parents need help with managing online delivery methods and handling their children’s mental health concerns brought on by the challenges of learning at home. I will also tackle the clear and tragic issue growing within our district – substance abuse. Our area has recently lost several beautiful, young people to drugs, and that number will only grow until an intervention is in place. It starts with parents, educators, and community leaders collectively implementing change in our schools, homes, athletic programs, etc. Racial/socioeconomic equality and policies against bullying are also on my agenda. Each of these have to be thorough in order for all OPS students to feel valued and receive a quality education. Help me help our children. Vote Leucht.


Daviess County School Board

(3rd Educational District)


Dianne Mackey

Dianne Burns Mackey

Age: 74

Education: Daviess County Public Schools; Western Kentucky University (B.S. in Elementary Education, Master’s in Guidance and Counseling)

Occupation: Owner of Mackey’s Store; Retired from education career since 2005

Elected offices held: Board of Education (2008-2016, Vice Chairman 2009-2012); Kentucky School Board Association

Platform: My experience as an educator has shown me that the learning that goes on in the classroom is more important than the building. As a founder and operator of small businesses, I have developed a keen awareness of the importance of prioritizing funds spent. As our school board has continually increased property taxes, the burden to households has not been fully taken into consideration. The property school tax has increased from $648.00 to a whopping $715.00/$100,000 valuation in four short years — more than the entire eight years I served on the board! Approximately $6 million is being spent solely on a new school site. This is happening during a period where teacher’s pension funding has been precarious and the monies needed for day-to-day expenses of the classroom are never enough. My vision is to uphold the values of a quality education, supporting teachers and students — while being a good steward of the tax dollars with which the Board is entrusted.


Todd Anderson

Todd Anderson

Age: 57 

Education: Western Kentucky University (Business) 

Occupation: Senior Vice President at Assured Partners 

Elected offices held: Daviess County Public Schools Board of Education (current)

Platform: I am honored to be a board member for DCPS. I believe my background in business allows a complementary partnership with my fellow board members and their background in education. Since beginning my term, in addition to hiring an outstanding Superintendent, the board has been able to put a plan in action to replace an 80-year-old building with a brand new facility, and have implemented over due expansions and updates to existing buildings in an effort to ensure a quality learning experience in a safe environment for our students and staff. Recently I voted for the safe opening plan presented by our Reopening Task Force, and voted against raising taxes. During this unprecedented time, I am encouraged by the combined efforts of our faculty, staff and community to make sure we really do put “kids FIRST!” 


Daviess County School Board

(4th Educational District)


Frank Riney

Frank G. Riney III

Age: 74

Education: Brescia College (B.S. in Accounting)

Occupation: Retired Secretary/Treasurer from Hartz Construction Corporation

Elected offices held:  Daviess County Public Schools Board of Education (current)

Platform: The most important thing we must do is create an environment with quality instruction that will help students develop to their greatest potential. A critical factor is having dedicated and highly skilled teachers, as well as school personnel that have the heart and concern for all students. This has been a very tough and unusual year, making the educational process more difficult than ever for both staff and students. The virtual method is allowing instruction to proceed, which is vital for at-risk students. It is also working well for a small percentage of our population but critical that we return to a five-day week schedule as soon as possible for the majority of students. Financial issues are always a serious concern as we’ve lost state funds over time. Some programs are not fully funded, but a conservative approach to spending is required to control local property taxes. 


Sharon Castle

Castle did not respond to multiple requests for information.


Daviess County School Board

(5th Educational District)


Dale Stewart

Dale Stewart

Age: 70

Education: Daviess County High School; Kentucky Wesleyan College; Western Kentucky University

Occupation: 40+ years as teacher, coach, high school principal; Former bank director for 20 years 

Elected offices held: Daviess County Public Schools Board of Education (2016-current)Platform: I first want to thank the citizens of this community for their support since I am running unopposed. I take my role very seriously as a DCPS board member and I am blessed to continue to serve all constituents the next 4 years. I will continue the projects already started including the new DCMS and the renovation at Apollo. The strength of our school system is tremendous community support along with hard working staff members. Public education is the lifeblood of our community and the state of Kentucky. Again, thank you for your support on behalf of the young people and my No. 1 commitment is keeping them and all stakeholders safe during these unusual times.


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