School board filing begins

When you head out to vote this fall, you will be deciding who should set the budget for your local schools and lay out plans to deal with future enrollment growth.

In addition to the races for president, governor, senate and other local races, your ballot will also include school board races.

Five of the six school districts in Johnson County will have school board seats on this year’s ballot. Voters in Clark-Pleasant schools will not have any school board seats on their ballot.

School board races often draw a lot of interest from voters and candidates who want to run, clerk Susie Misiniec said.

“People become passionate when it involves their children and how they are being educated, and what is being done and how the money in their school corporation is being spent,” she said.

But this year, those races will be competing with several other high-profile races, including president and governor, she said.

Filing began this week for the school board seats up for election this year. As of Thursday afternoon, only one candidate, Kristine Ott, had filed for re-election to her seat representing the city of Franklin on the Franklin school board, according to the county voter registration office.

But several other residents have said they are interested in running for election to school boards, Misiniec said.

School members set the budget for their school district and figure out how to afford all their expenses and debt, hire and evaluate the superintendent, plan for future growth in enrollment and set the mission and strategic plan for their schools.

If a school district needs to redistrict, like Center Grove and Clark-Pleasant recently did, school board members approve the plans for which school children will attend.

The board also is in charge of approving building projects, such as the new Indian Creek Elementary School, the $10 million Center Grove student activity center or the new Greenwood Middle School.

And often, more voters and candidates will be interested in school board races after a big decision was made, Misiniec said. For example, when Nineveh-Hensley-Jackson schools’ proposal for a multimillion building project was turned down by voters in 2009, five candidates ran for open seats on the board a couple years later.

“Issues like that drive people to run and vote,” she said.

Whether that will happen with any school board races this year is yet to be seen. Candidates can file to run for school board through Aug. 26.

At a glance

Here is a look at the school board seats on the ballot this fall:

Center Grove

2 at-large seats




2 at-large seats


1 seat that represent Franklin Township

2 seats that represent the city of Franklin


District 1 seat

District 3 seat


2 at-large seats

1 seat that represents Nineveh Township

Annie Goeller is managing editor of the Daily Journal. She can be reached at or 317-736-2718.