School Board Endorsements (Part 1)

In a previous post, I detailed four areas of special concern in deciding whom to vote for for SBCSC School Board, along with a detailed rubric for evaluating candidates in those areas. Based on my research -- which consisted in visiting candidates webpages and Facebook pages, reading short biographical profiles in the South Bend Tribune, and conducting interviews in person, over the phone, and via a survey I emailed out -- I'm offering my first round of endorsements. These are candidates for whom I feel there is strong enough evidence for me to make an informed judgment, and for whom that judgment is that they would contribute in an overall positive way to the functioning of the SBCSC School board.

District 3

FYI: The districts for School Board are not the same as districts for Common Council. If you don't know what district you're in, you can check out this vaguely helpful map!

There are three candidates running for one seat in district three. They are:

I'm endorsing Leslie Wesley

Ms. Wesley is a South Bend native and attended South Bend schools. You can view her bio here, and her platform here.

Two things about Ms. Wesley stand out to me: (1) her history of effective leadership and involvement in the community, and (2) the detailed and comprehensive proposals that she has made for addressing issues the SBCSC is currently facing.

Ms. Wesley talks about challenges like transportation, increase parental involvement, and community outreach and communications, with the experience of a successful local businesswomen and the passion of an involved parent. She has already been involved in the SBCSC, serving on hiring and advisory committees, and she's demonstrated a thorough understanding of the ways in which SBCSC can catch up with neighboring school districts and local private and charter options. While many candidates express positions and opinions I agree with (end the school-to-prison pipeline, provide better support for teachers), Ms. Wesley has demonstrated in public forums, in conversation, and in writing, how should would put those positions into practice.

For a better sense of where she stands of many of the biggest issues facing SBCSC, and how she plans to address them, check out this document.

When I asked her why she was running after one of the forums organized for school board candidates, she said "The School Board needs to have a voice for parents represented, and I want to be that voice."  Though I cannot vote for Ms. Wesley, I urge those who live in district 3 to do so. 

✊ = 3/4 ✏️ = 2/4 ❤️ = 4/4 ✅ = 4/4

(For an explanation of these scores, see the rubric I created, linked above)

I'm endorsing Ms. Wesley as the best candidate in district 3. I also think one of her opponents, Scott Siler, would also make an excellent school board member, and will likely profile him in a later post.

At Large

here are 8 candidates running for 2 at-large positions. Anyone in the district can vote for these positions. The candidates are:

I'm endorsing Jasmine Brown

Ms. Brown has a palpable passion for public education. She is herself a teacher, and has taught for SBCSC in the past. Her responses at the forum I attended were clear, direct, and well-informed. She knows the problems on the ground in the SBCSC, and is willing to advocate for teachers, students, and parents in the process of addressing those problems. You can read more about some of the positions she's taken here.

I will be voting for Ms. Brown in the upcoming election.

✊ = 3/4 ✏️ = 4/4 ❤️ = 3/4 ✅ = 4/4

(For an explanation of these scores, see the rubric I created, linked above)

I consider the following candidates highly electable, but have not decided who, amongst them, I will vote for...

John Anella

  • 2 years experience on the school board (he was appointed to an interim position)
  • Has practical, concrete goals and policies that he is pushing for
  • Has taken time to visit school and listen to SBCSC teachers and staff
  • For public statements and positions, see his website:

✊ = unranked ✏️ = 2/4 ❤️ = 4/4 ✅ = 3/4

Karl Nichols

  • Experience in local business, marketing, campaign management
  • Passion for SBCSC Schools, and first-hand knowledge of issues facing many SB parents and families
  • Willingness to explore creative solutions and open up processes to the public to make the school board more transparent and accountable

My opinions of Karl are based on two interviews I conducted with him, as well as observations of his statements at the various forums. For more information visit his Facebook page here:

✊ = 2.5/4 ✏️ = 2/4 ❤️ = 4/4 ✅ = 3/4

I need more information about the following candidates before I can form a judgment regarding their candidacy...