One candidate ousted; 8 to run in key Dayton school board election

Dayton’s school board will see significant changes next year, as at least three new faces will be elected on Nov. 7. JEREMY P. KELLEY/STAFF

Combined ShapeCaption
Dayton’s school board will see significant changes next year, as at least three new faces will be elected on Nov. 7. JEREMY P. KELLEY/STAFF

A potential candidate for Dayton school board was disqualified from the ballot Tuesday, meaning eight candidates will run for four seats in a crowded election Nov. 7.

Claudia Hunter was found to have only 233 of the necessary 300 valid signatures on her petitions, so the Montgomery County Board of Elections ruled those petitions invalid.

RELATED: Short bios of the Dayton school board candidates

The rest of the candidates were approved at the Aug. 15 meeting, but Board of Elections Director Jan Kelly said Hunter’s petitions were still undergoing legal review at that time.

Kelly said an improperly listed date on Hunter’s petitions was eventually ruled a “non-fatal error,” but when the signatures were subsequently checked and counted, Hunter did not meet the minimum of 300. In the Aug. 15 BOE meeting, Donna Hill was also disqualified from the ballot for not having enough valid signatures.

RELATED: Teachers OK contract, vote “no confidence” in board

Important election

This election will change the face of Dayton’s board of education, because four of the seven seats are up for grabs, and three incumbents — Hazel Rountree, Ron Lee and Adil Baguirov — decided not to run.

The vote also comes at a crucial time for Dayton Public Schools. On the positive side, state test scores were good enough a year ago to eliminate the threat of state takeover, and preliminary numbers this year show more modest progress.

But DPS is coming off a painful seven-month contract fight with its teachers, resulting in the teachers union issuing a vote of no confidence in the board and Superintendent Rhonda Corr. Several other unions are still in negotiations, working under the terms of last year’s expired contracts. And the district is undergoing major changes — from school start times, to busing, to computer technology to curriculum and textbooks.

RELATED: Early results show Dayton test scores on the rise

Who are the candidates?

The eight candidates who have been approved for the November election are, Mohamed Al-Hamdani, Paul Bradley, Ann Marie (Mario) Gallin, Bill Harris Jr., Jo’el Jones, Joe Lacey, Jocelyn Rhynard and Karen Wick-Gagnet.

Lacey is the only incumbent on the ballot. Other current board members Robert Walker, John McManus and Sheila Taylor are halfway through their four-year terms.

RELATED: Board rehired AD Baker despite OHSAA penalty

A public information session on the race is currently scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Sept. 12 at the downtown library. That event conflicts with a scheduled school board meeting.

About the Author