2020 Year in Review 31-12272020234636 (copy) (copy)

An election official quickly moves from one station to another while processing absentee ballots at the O’Keeffe Middle School polling place on Election Day in Madison, on Nov. 3, 2020.

While K-12 schools around the country are embroiled in the politics of the COVID-19 pandemic and how history should be taught, there will be only one contested race for Madison School Board this spring.

Incumbent board president Ali Muldrow and former Madison Metropolitan School District executive director of equity, partnerships and engagement Nichelle Nichols are running unopposed, the only candidates to file the necessary paperwork for their respective seats by Tuesday’s 5 p.m. deadline.

There are two candidates for Seat 3, with Laura Simkin and Shepherd Janeway — who will appear as Shepherd Joyner on the ballot — competing to succeed Cris Carusi, who decided not to run for reelection after one term.

Last year’s spring election, which featured two seats, included no contested races. In spring 2020, there were two contested races, one of which required a primary to narrow the field from three candidates to two.

All Madison board seats are at-large, with every eligible voter in the district able to vote for all seats. The spring election is April 5.

Barring write-in campaigns, Nichols, now working with the National Equity Project, will join the board and Muldrow will remain in office. Nichols will take the place of Ananda Mirilli, who is not running for reelection after one term.

Janeway and Simkin will compete for the other seat.

Janeway, who uses they/them pronouns, joined the race after a campaign announcement by Mary Jo Walters, who made anti-trans comments on Facebook. Walters dropped out shortly after, but Janeway remained in the race.

Simkin, who has a high school senior child in the district, filed paperwork soon after.

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