Nine vying for seats on boards of education

June 5, 2020 | 12:09 am

Updated June 5, 2020 | 11:24 am

A total of nine candidates filed for seats on the Owensboro and Daviess County boards of education, with four seeking a spot for the city school district and five for the county.

Owensboro Public Schools

The OPS Board of Education has three seats open. While incumbents Melissa Decker and Jeremy Edge are looking to retain their position, Dan Griffith is not seeking re-election. Leigh Rhoads Doyal and Mallory Leucht are first-time candidates.

Incumbent Melissa Decker, board vice-chair, is seeking a second term. She is a homemaker and has been involved with OPS through numerous roles since her adult children were in elementary school. 

“My goal as a board member has always been, and continues to be, the same as my main goal as a parent. I want all of our children to have what they need to get the best education available,” Decker said. “I want our students to have a solid foundation that leads them toward being happy, successful adults.” 

Incumbent Jeremy Edge, board chairman, is seeking a second term. Edge has children in the school system and is a financial advisor. He has served on the YMCA and Daviess County Public Library boards.

“With my kids being involved, I feel like I should be involved and try to help and promote the system, do as much as we can to move it forward,” Edge said. “The nice thing is, quite honestly, I say without question, the school system is in a great position because they’re going to get three people who care about the school system.”

Leigh Rhoads Doyal, first-time candidate, is a local attorney at Rhoads & Rhoads law firm and mother of three children who are in the school system. She teaches Sunday School at Owensboro Christian Church.

“I have a vested interest in making sure my own children receive a high-quality education. However, I believe it is just as important that I act as a voice for other children as well,” Doyal said. “I have always been a strong advocate for my clients. I also want to be a strong advocate for the children of OPS.”  

Mallory Leucht, first-time candidate, has a son in the school system. Leucht has been working in higher education for five years at Owensboro Community & Technical College and Kentucky Wesleyan College. Leucht has coached youth soccer for 10 years and currently serves on the Kids Football League board.

“I believe being an OPS board member will not only show my son, but others similar to me, that you can achieve anything with the right amount of dedication and grit,” Leucht said. “I want OPS students to feel empowered and encouraged by everyone involved in their education.”

Daviess County Public Schools

The district three, four and five seats are all up for grabs for the DCPS Board of Education. Incumbents in each district have filed for re-election, as well as one challenger each for district three and four.

Incumbent Todd Anderson is seeking a second term in district three. He works in insurance at Assured Partners and has served on other community service boards. Anderson unseated his current opponent in 2016. He said he wants to stay and see the district’s numerous multimillion-dollar projects come to fruition.

“We have a lot going on right now, and I’m interested in running again for another term to see these projects completed,” Anderson said. “I like what I’ve done, and I’m excited to be on the school board for another four years.” 

Dianne Burns Mackey, former two-term DCPS board member, is looking to take back her seat from Anderson in district three. Mackey has a 32-year teaching career. 

“I have been encouraged to run again because, at present, the school board is all-male,” Mackey said. “I do not have a financial agenda for seeking a school board position. Mostly my faith has influenced my decision to donate my time to my community. As well as my parents, the recently deceased Jim Lambert had a great influence on me.”

Incumbent Frank Riney III, is seeking re-election in district four. Riney has served on the DCPS board since 1977. Riney couldn’t be reached for comments.

Sharon Castle filed for district four. She and her husband own Windy Hollow Campground. She couldn’t be reached for comments.

Incumbent Dale Stewart, vice chairman, doesn’t have an opponent and will serve his second term in district five. 

“It makes me feel good (to have) community support,” Stewart said. “We got so many things going with the construction projects, the virus. We got a lot on our plate.”

June 5, 2020 | 12:09 am

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