Gary voters back 22-year-old School Board member Clemons
By Carole Carlson email@example.com/648-3154 November 6, 2012 10:26PM
Antuwan Clemons candidate for Gary Board of School Trustees at large. | Jeffrey D. Nicholls~Sun-Times Media
Updated: December 8, 2012 6:21AM
GARY — Newcomer Doretha S. Rouse appeared to upset incumbent Barbara Leek Tuesday to grab the District 1 seat in Tuesday’s School Board election.
In unofficial totals, Rouse, a retired teacher, held a narrow margin over Leek.
Incumbent Marion Williams, a former school administrator, ran unopposed for the District 4 seat to secure another four-year term.
In the second district, Robert Campbell withstood a write-in challenge from James Piggee to win that seat.
In the at-large race, Antuwan Clemons beat Marcus Hare, to become one of the youngest elected officials in the state at age 22.
“I’m happy with the citizens of Gary for giving me the opportunity to make a difference in the district,” said Clemons, a 2009 Wirt High graduate.
“With the problems we’re facing now, we need a great leader on every seat on the board.”
The new board members face myriad of challenges as the district struggles to cut more than $4 million from its budget.
In addition, it needs to improve academics, shore up neglected buildings, and improve the standing of the school district with Gary residents schools who now can choose charter schools or secure vouchers for private schools.
In her campaign, Rouse criticized the board for voting to accept the donation of a 10-story bank building at 504 Broadway. Leek voted for it, but now the district has apparently backed off accepting the donation of the building.
Leek said her biggest priority was to improve the district’s finances. She was also challenged by Jason Arndt and Karen Lynch.