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Though the official filing period doesn’t open until December, an upcoming race for the Springfield Board of Education is drawing interest.
Eight people have picked up candidacy packets from Springfield Public Schools so far, including the three incumbents whose seats are up for re-election in April, according to Springfield Public Schools.
The packets contain guidelines and policies about running for office, including details about a petition of 500 registered voters that must be collected and submitted. The signatures will be validated against voter registration records in the Greene County Clerk’s Office.
The period for candidates to file runs from Dec. 5-Dec. 26. In addition to completing the petition, any interested candidate must be a registered voter who has lived within the Springfield Public Schools district for at least a year, and be 24 years old or older. The election is set for April 2.
Picking up a packet does not mean a candidate is officially running for the office. But if all the people who picked up packets collect enough signatures and are found to be eligible, then the number of candidates will be doubled from the last election, where four people ran for two seats.
The list of people who have picked up packets include the three incumbents whose seats are up for election in April. Terms run for three years:
• Springfield Board of Education President Danielle Kincaid. First elected in 2021, she is a partner with the Elder Law Group.
• Board Vice President Scott Crise. First elected in 2021, he is manager of gas plant operations for Associated Electric Cooperative, Inc.
• Board member Maryam Mohammadkhani. First elected in 2021, she is a retired pathologist who trained and practiced with Harvard Medical School until joining CoxHealth in 2001.
The list also includes two people who ran in last year’s election, losing to current board members Judy Brunner and Shurita Thomas-Tate:
• Chad Rollins, a pharmacist and fitness enthusiast.
• Landon McCarter, co-founder of Secure Agent Marketing.
The two candidates were paired and endorsed by political action committees that, in the last election, targeted Brunner and Thomas-Tate in negative ads.
Other potential candidates who have picked up packets include:
• Charity Jordan Rex, prevention education coordinator for Harmony House.
• Kyler Sherman-Wilkins, an associate professor of sociology at Missouri State University.
• Susan Everett Provance, a retired teacher and basketball, volleyball and softball coach at Parkview High School.
The Springfield Board of Education has grappled with partisanship and engaged in infighting over the last few years as candidates brought national talking points to board agendas, meetings and discussions of SPS. Despite the debates, the board agreed on a strategic plan at the end of 2022 that guides decision-making and policy over the next five years.
The April 2023 election drew more than $210,000 in fundraising for the four candidates, as well as more than $102,000 for political action committees involved in the race.