FLORA, Ind. (WLFI) - Incumbents Patrick Hickner and Ryan Allbaugh are re-running for their seats on the Carroll Consolidated School Board.
As we've previously reported, former Carroll Elementary Principal Amanda Redmon is running for Hickner's seat. Chris Dyer and Jana Conn are running for Allbaugh's seat. The current school board member, David Bordner, is not re-running for his seat. Billy Lytle is running for Bordner's seat unopposed. Redmon, Dyer and Lytle have teamed up in their efforts to win their races.
"Just continue to make the place the best it can be," said Ryan Allbaugh.
Allbaugh is a graduate of Carroll Schools and his kids attended CCSC. He said he decided to run for the school board in 2016 as a way to give back to his community and find a new challenge. While he admitted that he wasn't that serious about school when he was a student, he now sees the value of local public education.
As a farmer, Allbaugh is currently spending countless hours helping take in crops from fields across Carroll and Cass Counties. He hopes to show the current generation that you can grow up and make an impact by staying in your small town, and that college doesn't have to be the road to success for everyone.
Patrick Hickner and his family have lived in Carroll County for 20 years. He said all four of his children have graduated from Carroll Schools and have gone on to college.
"We've always appreciated the educational system that was provided for our children and my job getting on the school board was to keep that going," he said.
Allbaugh and Hickner said they are proud of the progress they've helped make over the past four years.
"Managing our tax base and our tax rate locally has probably given us the biggest step up that we've been able to enjoy," said Hickner.
"Being able to update the buildings because they are getting older and some of the maintenance we've been able to do there and continue to do," said Allbaugh.
Both work in the agriculture industry and say they will work to find a balance between managing tax rates for property owners and maintaining teacher pay if re-elected.
"Red for Ed was all about teacher pay, and we heard our teachers about what it means to them to have higher pay," said Allbaugh. "In the four years that Ryan and I have been on the board, we have paid our teachers onto their base salary all four years."
Hickner said with the new challenges COVID-19 will play into school funding, the district needs experience on the board.
"In the next three or four years with the COVID and the state budget that we don't know what it's going to look like, we're going to need some people on the board who understand what school finance looks like," he said.
Hickner and Allbaugh have made some controversial decisions while serving on the board. In February, both voted in favor of not renewing the contract of former Carroll Elementary principal Amanda Redmon. They say it was a hard, but necessary decision to work towards improving the letter grade of the school.
"The B's and C's for the letter grade that were going on for eight years, it just needed to change," said Allbaugh.
"We feel like the leadership we have in place now at both of the schools, we're pointed in the right direction, we all have the same goals," said Hickner.
They hope to continue the momentum into the next four years. Some goals each mentioned are continuing maintenance projects on the schools, including a new roof for the high school, upgrading one-to-one devices and updating the curriculum.
"I hope to continue our work that we've got started and the foundation we've laid out," said Allbaugh.
Hickner said he is happy to see our democratic system working and to see that people are participating.
"I'm not shy about saying there is an opponent running against me. I don't feel like I should have to run unopposed," he said. "I'm very excited about this opportunity and I'm glad that people have chosen to participate."
Election polls for in-person voting will officially close on Tuesday, November 3rd at 6 pm.