3 Lawrence school board incumbents won’t run for reelection

photo by: Mackenzie Clark

Lawrence school board members listen to a report from Board President Jessica Beeson, second from left, at their meeting on Monday, Jan. 14, 2019 at district offices, 110 McDonald Drive. The others, left to right, are Superintendent Anthony Lewis; board Vice President Melissa Johnson; and board members Jill Fincher, GR Gordon-Ross, Rick Ingram, Kelly Jones and Shannon Kimball.

Three of four incumbent members of the Lawrence school board whose terms are expiring will not run for reelection this year.

The four-year terms of Board President Jessica Beeson and board members Jill Fincher, Rick Ingram and Shannon Kimball will end in January. Kimball, the only incumbent who filed for reelection, is seeking her third term.

Reached via email May 23, Beeson told the Journal-World that she wasn’t running again but that it had been a great four years.

“I’ve enjoyed serving the district and making it stronger for all of our kids,” Beeson wrote. “I’m excited we have such a fabulous pool of candidates to join the board and continue moving the district forward.”

Ingram told the Journal-World via email on June 1, two days prior to Monday’s filing deadline, that he had been “in the process of making a decision” but that he would not run again.

“After 8 years I think it is really important that we get some new perspectives on the board,” he said via email.

Fincher did not respond to an email inquiry from the Journal-World, but she did not file for reelection.

The four candidates seeking their first terms on the school board are Carole Cadue-Blackwood, Thea Perry, Paula Smith and Erica Hill. A primary election would only have been necessary if 12 or more candidates had filed for the four seats.

Seven at-large Lawrence school board members serve four-year terms and receive no salary. The terms of the three other incumbents — Melissa Johnson, Kelly Jones and GR Gordon-Ross — expire in 2021.

The general election will be Tuesday, Nov. 5. Advance voting will start Wednesday, Oct. 16, and the last day to register to vote will be Tuesday, Oct. 15.

More information about voting, including where to go to vote and how to request a mail-in ballot, is available on the Douglas County clerk’s Voting and Elections website at douglascountyelections.com.

Lawrence Board of Education 2019 candidates

• Carole Cadue-Blackwood — May 23, 2019: Woman behind campaign to change Lawrence middle school’s name files for school board

• Shannon Kimball — May 24, 2019: Lawrence school board member with background in education law files for reelection

• Thea Perry — May 26, 2019: Advocate for education, equity files for Lawrence school board

• Paula Smith — May 31, 2019: Community engagement director files for Lawrence school board

• Erica Hill — June 2, 2019: Foundation manager, advocate for health equity files for Lawrence school board

Contact Mackenzie Clark

Have a story idea, news or information to share? Contact schools, health and county reporter Mackenzie Clark:

  • mclark@ljworld.com
  • • 785-832-7198
  • Facebook/Facebook messenger: mclarkljw
  • Twitter: @mclark_ljw

    Welcome to the new LJWorld.com. Our old commenting system has been replaced with Facebook Comments. There is no longer a separate username and password login step. If you are already signed into Facebook within your browser, you will be able to comment. If you do not have a Facebook account and do not wish to create one, you will not be able to comment on stories.