After seven years on the Fayette County Public Schools Board, Doug Barnett said he won’t seek re-election when his term ends this year. Psychologist Shambra Mulder is the first to announce she’ll run for his 2nd District seat in the Nov. 6 General Election.
“I have decided not to seek re-election to the Fayette County Board of Education in 2018,” Barnett said in a statement this week. “As my wife Jennifer and I watch our children grow and witness ourselves and our parents age, we have developed a greater appreciation for this time in our lives. Nothing excites me more as a parent than watching my oldest play golf for Bryan Station High School or watching my youngest play baseball at Southwest Lexington Pony.... I have reached the conclusion that I wanted to spend more time with my wife and with my two boys as they pursue their hopes and dreams. I also have professional interests at this time that I desire to pursue and perfect.”
Barnett, an attorney, has represented the 2nd District on the board since 2010. The 2nd district includes northern Fayette County.
Mulder, a licensed psychologist who has spoken at school board meetings on equity issues, said in a statement Thursday that she has spent her life fighting for “the children living in the most vulnerable communities.” In her practice, she said, she focuses on children and families that have experienced complex trauma in their lifetime.
Mulder said she had been an advocate for closing achievement gaps, equity in school finance, and ensuring access to specialized programs offered by the Fayette County School district. She said she has worked as a school psychologist in the public schools as well as an assistant professor within a school of education responsible for preparing teachers.
“The children of Fayette County deserve a strong voice from an experienced educator who will put their interest first,” Mulder said in a statement. “If elected, I promise to fight relentlessly to improve all schools in Lexington. The time has come for there not to be so-called ‘bad schools’ and ‘good schools’ in the school district. I invite all residents in the second district to meet me and learn more about my ideas to better the school experience for all children.”
Stephanie Spires, who was appointed to the 4th district seat early last year after Amanda Ferguson’s resignation in 2016, is running for that seat in the November election. The Fourth District includes an area south of Main Street and east of South Broadway.
“I decided to run for this seat because I am passionate about children and believe that every child should have access to quality public education,” Spires, the former director of a Lexington children’s shelter, told the Herald-Leader this week.
The deadline for filing for the school board seats is Aug. 14.
Board members’ four-year terms expire this year only in the second and fourth district. The terms of board members Melissa Bacon, Ray Daniels and Daryl Love all expire at the end of 2020.