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Dozens apply for state appointment to new Gary school board

At least 30 Gary residents have put their names on lists to take a seat on the new 5-member Board of School Trustees for the Gary Community School Corporation and are awaiting decisions from two appointing authorities.

The Gary City Council, which has 1 appointee, interviewed 10 hopefuls at the council’s June 12th Boards & Commissions Committee meeting. Gary’s Mayor Jerome Prince has 1 appointee.

Indiana’s Secretary of Education Katie Jenner has 3 appointees. One must be a Gary resident and one must be a Lake County resident.

The Gary Education Coalition has gathered the names of 22 community residents who applied to be one of Jenner’s appointees.

Immediately after legislation passed approving the new school board, the Coalition’s Dr. Michaela Spangenburg urged Gary residents to apply. “When people view this list, the only reasonable conclusion can be that the people of Gary are the most qualified to lead our schools back to local control,” Spangenburg said.

SB 327 was approved by the 2023 Indiana General Assembly, setting the school district on a path to local control and ending the state takeover that began in 2017. The bill authorized a new school board to be in place by July 1 with the duty to select the district’s new school superintendent for the 2024 school year.

Seeking an appointment by the Gary Common Council were Glenn Johnson, Rev. Dwight Pointer, Dr. Vanessa Allen-McCloud, Greg Easton, Myles Tolliver, Kathy Grimler, Mary Ann Canty-Reedus, Latasha Hall, Jacquese White, and Jonathan Boose.

The city council will vote on the candidates at its Special Common Council meeting on Thursday, June 29.

Below is an early version of the list of community candidates who applied to be appointed by Secretary Jenner. Spangenburg said the official list is updated as candidates notify the Coalition.

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