Six vying for spots on Unit 4 board

Six vying for spots on Unit 4 board

CHAMPAIGN – A last-minute candidate has entered the open race for three seats on the Champaign school board.

David Tomlinson, an engineer for the Champaign Fire Department, turned in his petition by the deadline Tuesday, bringing the total number of candidates in the race to six, including two incumbents, Jeff Wampler and Nicole Storch. David Sholem will not run for re-election.

In Urbana, Benita Rollins-Gay challenges incumbent Jerry Moreland for a seat in District 2 surrounding King School. Incumbents Ruth Ann Fisher, Mark Netter and Cope Cumpston are running unopposed.

Moreland has served one term on the board. Rollins-Gay, a former teacher, has been active in PTA and King School and Urbana Middle School activities and as a mentor for several social organizations. She does seasonal tax work.

Other candidates for the Champaign board seats include former administrator and teacher Barry Rowe and retired assistant superintendent Arlene Blank. The sixth candidate is Randy Kobel of Savoy, who attends board meetings regularly and has served on a district transportation advisory committee.

Tomlinson has two sons in Champaign schools, and he's been involved personally and professionally with what goes on in classrooms.

"Through my job, I've been to all the elementary schools for fire and water safety education, and I've seen changes in the schools the last several years," he said. "The consent decree is very important and getting test scores up is very important but so is the climate in schools, making sure teachers are supported when they need to discipline children."

Tomlinson said he also wants to make sure the district doesn't make anymore "$4 million mistakes," referring to the district's sudden shortfall discovery last summer.

The election is April 5.

You can reach News-Gazette staff writer Anne Cook at (217) 351-5217 or via e-mail at acook@news-gazette.com.

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