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School board incumbents retain seats

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By Nathan L. McBroom

The three incumbent candidates in the Shelby County School Board election beat out their challengers to retain their seats on Tuesday.

Brenda Jackson, Sam Hinkle, and Allen Phillips will sit on the board for another four-year term.

Between the three of them they have a combined total of 48 years on the board.

Superintendent James Neihof said he is glad to be working with board members for four more years.

“I look forward to working with the board of education members who were elected today. It will be a privilege to team with them to prepare students for the challenges of the 21st century,” he said.

Hinkle, who has been on the board for eight years, had the closest race out of the three. He beat out challenger Karen Sams by 17 votes, 1,230 to 1,213.

Hinkle said he is glad to have again received a vote of confidence from the community.

He said the real winner in this election is Shelby County.

“We ought to be proud that there are people who want to be on the school board and are wiling to run in an election to be on it," he said.

Hinkle, who graduated from Yale Law School, practices law in Louisville.

He has had four children graduate from Shelby County High School.

During the campaign, Hinkle said many residents asked him to push to advance the quality of local education.

"What I heard was the need to continue the emphasis on improving student improvement," he said.

Phillips, who has been on the board 20 years, beat out challenger Kathy Chadwell by 105 votes, 1,214 to 1,109.

Phillips said he is proud to serve the local students.

"I never dreamed of being able to serve the people of Shelby County.

He said he decided to run for re-election in order to add stability as the district goes through a time of transition.

"With a new superintendent, a bunch of new principals and teachers, and three schools set to be built, it might help to have somebody (on the board) who has been around," he said.

Phillips, a dairy farmer, said his main reason for running again was the kids.

He said during the campaign, many residents told him their concerns about local education. Phillips said he will bring those concerns to the board.

Jackson, who has been on the board for 20 years, ran unopposed in this election cycle. Jackson, who represents parts of Shelbyville, received 1,746 votes, for 100 percent of the votes.

She has not been opposed since the first year she was elected.

Jackson, a Shelbyville native, is a retired judicial auditor, graduated from Shelbyville High School and went on to receive a B.S. from Kentucky State College.

Jackson, Hinkle, and Phillips, along with Neihof and the two other board members will have to plan three new school buildings, address lagging test scores at the secondary level and balance a budget with shrinking state support during the next term.