Along with choosing a president and governor, Allen County voters will be selecting representatives in a variety of school board races on Election Day, Nov. 3, this year.
A board of five trustees represents the Northwest Allen County School Corporation’s 10 — soon to be 11 — schools.
In District 1, board president Kent Somers is running unopposed.
Somers, 57, is going for his third term on the board, already having served eight years. This is the first time, however, he will run for the post without a challenger.
He said he’s proud of his time on the board so far, especially the district’s recent one-to-one computing program, which has allowed the district to tackle remote learning during the pandemic more effectively.
“And we were able to finance that through restructuring our debt,” he said, “so it didn’t really cost us any additional money.”
Somers said he’s also eager to see how new development in northwest Allen County will play out.
“I’m excited about the growth in our district,” he said. “We are on schedule to open a new elementary school — Aspen Meadow — next year. And we’ve been able to install a lot of improvements at the high school.”
He noted enhancements there include a new practice field for the marching band, upgrades to the football field, lighting and locker rooms, as well as to the stadium parking lot, and a new soccer field.
He said a local company also performed a traffic flow study for the school in order to maximize the efficiency of the bus drop-off and student pickup areas for better traffic flow while parents are doing drop-offs and pickups.
Somers said he also likes the big-small dichotomy of his system.
“One of the best parts of NACS is that we’re a very big district, but we create small environments for our students,” he said. “We like to make a good learning environment and a good working environment for our teachers and administrators.”
Running in District 2 against incumbent Steve Bartkus is challenger Zachary Felger. As a recent graduate of Carroll High School, Felger hopes to inject the NACS board with some youthful energy and knowledge.
“Being from NACS, I was always lucky to have great teachers and great administrators,” Felger, 28, said.
He noted that while current board members have done a good job, most are older people who may not fully understand today’s youth and their challenges.
“It’d be kind of nice to have a younger voice who knows what the kids are going through,” Felger said. “I’d just like to make sure the kids now have more opportunities than I had when I was there 10 years ago.”
Bartkus, a Huntertown resident, has served on the board since 2017. He could not be reached for comment via phone or email.