UPDATED 11:00 A.M. | Voters in the Unit 5 school district will have a lot of options when they decide who they want in charge of district policy next year.
Eight candidates have filed for three open seats on the Unit 5 school board. All of them would be newcomers, as none of three incumbents who were up for reelection filed petitions. District 87 will have five candidates vying for four open seats on its board, according to filing records provided by the McLean County Clerk’s office and posted online.
Monday was the deadline to file for Illinois school board races for the April 6, 2021, election.
Four of Unit 5's candidates, Janelle Czapar, Gavin Cunningham, Ericka Ralston and Elise Albers, will battle for one seat on the board. Their township district allows only one candidate to be elected. The other four candidates are Kentrica Coleman, Stan Gozur, Jeremy DeHaai and Mollie Emery; they are seeking the other two open seats.
Based on a lottery the county clerk's office held Tuesday morning, Coleman will appear first on the ballot.
Current Unit 5 board members Taunia Leffler, Meta Mickens-Baker and Mike Trask did not file for re-election. Mickens-Baker and Trask are the board's two longest-serving members. Mickens-Baker was appointed to the board in 2004 and has served five terms. Trask was been on the board since 2011.
In District 87, incumbents Brigette Beasley Gibson, who is board president, Charles Irwin and Elizabeth Fox Anvick filed along with challengers Fitzgerald Samedy and Jon Reed.
In the Stanford-based Olympia school district, incumbents Doug Maris, Mary Springer, Shawn Hohulin and challenger Justin Dietrich filed for the four, four-year terms on the board. Incumbent Steven Matter filed as a write-in candidate for a two-year term, according to the county clerk’s office.
In the Tri-Valley school system in Downs, incumbents Brian Meyers, J.B. Goff and challenger Bobby Brown filed for three, four-year seats. Incumbent Carl Neubauer filed for a two-year term.
Also, eight candidates filed for the Heartland Community College Board of Trustees. Six candidates submitted petitions for two, six-year terms: Joshua Crockett of Bloomington, Becky Ropp of Normal (incumbent), Allen Brokken of Bloomington, Catrina Parker of Bloomington, Jodie Slothhower of Normal and Cynthia Pulley of Downs. Two candidates filed for a two-year term on the board: incumbent Jim Drew of Lincoln and Cecelia Long of Bloomington.
Editor's note: WGLT corrected this story to reflect ballot order in the Unit 5 school board race.
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