FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Fort Wayne Community Schools Board District 3 representative Tom Smith was voted back for another term on the school board beating out challenger William Critell by less than 250 votes in November.
However, Smith announced before the election that he didn’t plan to serve on the board again.
Now, five candidates are vying to fill the seat of Smith on the board.
Critell, a long-time teacher and employee of the district is one of the five candidates.
FWCS Board President Julie Hollingsworth says after talking to each of the board members and asking their opinions, she didn't feel it wasn’t right to just give Critell the seat.
"I could see both viewpoints. There were people who argued for one way and the other. I think both of them were valid, so that’s the reason we decided to just open it up," Hollingsworth said.
Board member Steve Corona says having five quality candidates to choose from as COVID-19 shuts down classes and the state expects to slash the education budget is helpful for the future.
Corona explained, "It’s going to be a challenging year and we need a great seventh board member to join with us in discussing those issues and finding solutions to them."
Hollingsworth says it was beneficial to open up the search to more candidates, despite them not running in the election.
"I’m glad for the attention to public education and the fact there are qualified people interested in serving on the board," she sad.
The school board will vote to accept Smith,s resignation, as well as voting in his replacement, at the school board meeting on Dec. 14.