HAMMOND | Two experienced educators are vying to keep their seats on the School City of Hammond board against a newcomer who wants to improve the board's operations.
The race for the two-at large seats features retired teacher Marilyn Jones, lifelong Hammond resident Thomas Kazmierczak and veteran board member Anna Mamala.
Jones, a retired teacher from Harding Elementary School, is running for her first full term on the board after being appointed in May. Jones, who is a former Indiana PTA president, said she would work on parent involvement if elected.
"One of the most important things I think for children and all students of all ages is their parents need to be involved in what they are doing," Jones said.
Kazmierczak would set up additional meetings for the public to have open discussions with the board and bring greater transparency to agenda items the board now adopts on consent.
"I have experience and knowledge when it comes to politics and how elected officials should represent the public," Kazmierczak said. "When looking at the School Board, to me they don't have the same knowledge."
Mamala, a board member since 2004 and School City of East Chicago teacher, said the board needs to address consolidating the district's four high schools to two locations.
"The state has taken over funding and each year we are losing more funding," Mamala said. "To get ahead of ourselves, the four high school concept is not feasibly working anymore."