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5 school board seats on Pulaski County’s ballot

6 candidates file for races in three school districts by Cynthia Howell | August 11, 2022 at 7:02 a.m.
FILE — This 2015 file photo shows public school buses. (AP Photo/File)

A total of six people have filed as candidates for election in November to five seats on three school boards in Pulaski County -- with only one seat being contested.

Lindsey Gustafson and Wendy Potter both filed Wednesday -- the last day of the candidate filing period -- as candidates for the Zone 5 seat on the Pulaski County Special School District's School Board. Zone 5 encompasses part of the Maumelle area, including the Marche and Crystal Hill communities.

The people who filed as candidates for the Little Rock and North Little Rock board in recent days are unopposed for election Nov. 8 to board seats.

Greg Adams filed for re-election to the Zone 8 seat on the Little Rock School Board. Joyce Wesley filed for the Zone 9 seat in the Little Rock district -- a seat now held by Jeff Wood who opted not to run for re-election. Neither Adams nor Wesley drew an opponent.

Dorothy Williams, a retired teacher and administrator, is running for re-election to the Zone 1 seat on the North Little Rock School Board.

Valerie McLean, a retired district librarian, is running for the North Little Rock School Board's Zone 6 seat. McLean was appointed to the North Little Rock board to fill a vacancy created by the resignation earlier this year of J.T. Zakrzewski Her appointment by her board colleagues to fill a vacancy makes it necessary for her to run for election and win to continue to hold the seat.

In the Pulaski County Special district, Gustafson and Potter are vying for the seat that Gustafson has held since August 2021. Gustafson, 52, the current president of the board, was appointed to the seat by the other six members of the School Board to fill the vacancy created by a board member resignation.

The mother of six children who attend or graduated from the district's schools, Gustafson has been on the faculty at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock's William H. Bowen School of Law Associate for nearly 25 years. She is currently dean for academic affairs at the law school.

Gustafson previously served as a chairman of the district's Community Advisory Board when the district was operating under state control for fiscal distress and without an elected board.

She was on that advisory board from 2013 to 2016 when the district was removed from state control and a local board was elected.

Potter, 42, is the mother of three sons, including one who is a military veteran and two in Maumelle Middle and High schools. A graduate of Bryant High School, Potter returned to Arkansas in 2017 after a divorce. She works for Priority 1, a freight broker company.

Potter has been attending School Board meetings or watching them online for several months and decided to run because of her concerns about low achievement by as many as 40% of students, student class schedules, spending practices and a lack of transparency to the public in regard to some district operations.

Potter, who last year successfully argued to the School Board in favor of parent choice on student face masks, said she also would like to see greater stability of staffing at schools and better salaries for all employees.

School board positions are unpaid.

Print Headline: 5 school board seats on Pulaski County’s ballot


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