Ask the School Board Candidates

What questions do YOU have for the Board of Education Candidates? Don't be shy. Ask away!

School board elections are fast approaching in Delaware. Election day is May 9 and the filing deadline was this past Friday at 4:30pm.

Blue Delaware will be conducting interviews with each candidate that has filed to run for a Board seat, and we want to know from YOU the readers:

What questions do YOU have for the Board of Education Candidates? Topics and issues in public education cross district boundary lines more often than not. So no matter where you live, we want to hear the questions you would ask Board candidates up and down the state. Share them in the comments below. We’ll be compiling a list of questions to pose to each candidate and will post their full un-edited responses in the coming weeks leading into election day. Don’t be shy.  Ask away!

Let’s break down the School Board candidate filings by county, shall we?

New Castle County

incumbents are in italics.

Appoquinimink School District – At-Large Seat – 5 Year Term

  • Charlisa Edelin
  • Trevor Tucker
  • Keinna McKnight

Brandywine School District – Nominating District D – 5 Year Term

  • John A. Skrobot III

Christina School District – Nominating District G – 5 Year Term

  • Shirley A. Sutton-Saffer (withdrew 3/1/17)
  • Jeffrey Day
  • Kimara Smith
  • Meredith L. Griffin, Jr.

Red Clay Consolidated School District – Nominating District C – 5 Year Term

  • Ashley Sabo
  • Thomas Pappenhagen
  • Henry Clampitt
  • James R. Startzman, Jr.

In Kent County:

Caesar Rodney School District  – At-Large Seat – 5 Year Term

  • Alan J. Claycomb
  • Tawanna Prophet-Brinkley
  • David P. Failing

Capital School District – At-Large Seat – 5 Year Term

  • Andres R. Ortiz
  • Joan Loewenstein Engel

Lake Forest School District – At-Large Seat – 5 Year Term

  • Austin C. Auen
  • Phillip S. Thomas
  • Stephanie Justiniano Johnson

Milford School District

Area D – 5 Year Term

  • Judith C. Purcell

At-Large Seat – 5 Year Term

  • Ronald T. Evans
  • Michael Firch
  • Jason M. Miller
  • Michael D. McKain
  • Michael Wells

Smyrna School District – At-Large Seat – 5 Year Term

  • Vetra A. Evans-Gunter
  • Karin A. Sweeney

Sussex County

Cape Henlopen School District – Area D – 5 Year Term

  • No candidate filed

Delmar School District – At-Large Seat – 5 Year Term

  • Thomas K. Elliott

Laurel School District – At-Large Seat – 5 Year Term

  • Linda F. Wintjen

Seaford School District – At-Large Seat – 5 Year Term

  • Michael W. Kraft

Woodbridge School District – At-Large Seat – 5 Year Term

  • Paul M. Breeding


15 comments on “Ask the School Board Candidates

  1. There are some interesting races and candidates running. Five people running for the at-large seat in Milford? Is something going on there? That’s a lot of interest.

    Red Clay has an interesting field, as well. Startzman ran against Kim Williams, and is proud of his endorsement by Students for Trump. His position on WEIC makes no sense – almost as if he has NO idea what he’s talking about.

    “What the Red Clay School District is trying to do will not work. Rather than trying to fix what is broken in the schools within the city of WIlmington their answer is to throw an enormous amount of money at it by busing students out of Wilmington to the Red Clay District.


    In my opinion it would make much better sense to go INTO Wilmington and fix what is broken rather than incur the addition costs of adding: more Bus Drivers and Buses, more insurance, more crossing guards , etc.”

    What in the world is he talking about? The city of Wilmington is mostly comprised of elementary schools (and a couple of middle schools). City students are already bused out of the city for middle and high school. WEIC touched on a lot of things, equitable funding was the main issue. How this guy ended up focusing on bus drivers, buses, insurance and crossing guards escapes me.

    Let’s just cross him off the list now, okay?

    • The executive summary of the WEIC proposals would have answered just about everything he mentioned there. Except the thing about buses, insurance, and … crossing guards?!

      No crossing him off the list, he gets the same questioning as all the others!

      • I didn’t even realize my comment read that way!

        Think he’ll respond to the questions?

  2. During the general election, Jim Startzman attended a civic meeting, a question was asked if he had ever been in a Red Clay school or attended a Red Clay School Board meeting, his answer was no, he stated he did not have any children. A question was asked about WEIC and he did not know anything about WEIC.

  3. dustyn thompson

    These are some of the questions we sent them all (with the exception of Trevor Tucker, who has no contact info or FB): 1) Delaware faces some unique challenges because of decisions made in the past that have become a large part of our present; decisions such as school choice, the charter program, and the Neighborhood Schools Act. These are just three of the top issues, however they have wide reaching complications today. Briefly, what is your position on these issues, and how do you see them affecting our children’s academic future (positive/negative)?

    2) What are a couple of the hurdles you see facing our student’s achievement in school in your district?

    3) What is one initiative that you would like to pioneer to get over one of these hurdles?

    • Dustyn, thank you for sharing your questions! We’re doing some word-smithing and fine tuning for the questions right now. I think having some consistency in questions across groups seeking responses from the candidates is going to be helpful. We will post the final list of questions that will be sent as well as all responses we receive.

  4. dthompon3662

    We would love to be kept abreast of what is ultimately asked, and discovered in their responses. Please keep us informed as we are also researching these races.

  5. Jeff Day

    As a candidate I want to thank you all for your interest in the races and in public education. I am willing to speak with anyone and fill out any questionnaire’s you all may have. Dustyn, yours will be back to you all shortly.

    • Jeff, thank you for taking an interest in public education and making the commitment to run for a Board seat. We’ll have the questions to you (and all other candidates) shortly. It was good to meet you last night!

      • Jeff Day

        It has been a wonderful experience getting to know everyone and learning so much about what’s happening in Christina, and public education as a whole. The openness and patience I have been greeted with has made the whole process a little bit easier, thank you.

  6. Kimara Smith

    As a candidate myself, I am so happy that there are so many interested in what is going in our school districts. If any one has any question or comment I would love to hear them. Please email or call text

  7. Michael McKain

    I would be happy to answer anyour and all questions you have. I can be reached directly at Thank you for your interest in local issues!

  8. Michael McKain

    That would be “any and all”….I love it when autocorrect changes to nonsensical words.

  9. Just came across this article! I’m a candidate down in Lake Forest! If you have any questions feel free to call or email me!


  10. Austin Auen

    Also… I know some of the local EA’s will be holding debates and forums! Or at least ours plans to.


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