Endorsements for IPS School Board

Elections | 09/04/2018

Justin Ohlemiller
Executive Director, Stand for Children Indiana

Stand for Children Indiana announced today it has endorsed three candidates for the Indianapolis Public Schools (IPS) Board of Commissioners ahead of the November election.

The candidates were selected for endorsement by a committee comprised of parents and stakeholders of IPS.

The endorsed candidates are:

- Evan Hawkins, IPS District 3: Hawkins is an active parent at IPS #70 and currently serves as a facilities director at Marian University. Hawkins also brings K-12 education experience to the table after working as a chief operating officer for a local public charter school network.

In supporting Hawkins, IPS school #14 parent Jason Johnson said he appreciated the candidate’s commitment to the children of IPS, as well as his previous experience in education.

“Evan is running to make decisions that benefit the kids in the district, not the adults,” Johnson said. “He’s going to hold schools to a high standard, and fight for our children – regardless of their background or income – to have access to great schools in their neighborhood.”

Johnson also appreciated that Hawkins can serve as leader for children of color to look up to.

“We need more black male role models in our community and in the IPS district,” Johnson said.

- Dorene Rodriguez Hoops, IPS District 5: Hoops is running for the first time after being chosen to serve out the remainder of the term of former board member LaNier Echols. Hoops personal story resonated with Stand parents, who liked the fact she is a deeply engaged IPS parent, acting as the chief advocate for her son with special needs. They also felt her ability to overcome struggles as a first generation Mexican-American makes her uniquely qualified to understand the challenges that are experienced by vulnerable populations in IPS.

“As a parent advocate myself, I see Dorene Hoops as someone who understands what we face when we stand up for our own kids, and she seems very willing to listen,” said Taylor Johnson, who has children at IPS #103.

“Dorene was raised by a single mom who fought to give her a chance at a great education. That’s a story I can relate to,” Johnson added.

- Mary Ann Sullivan, IPS At-large: Sullivan is a long-time community advocate who has been committed to improving IPS. The former Democratic state representative also has children and grandchildren who have attended IPS schools.

Parents praised Sullivan’s commitment to engaging the community, and specifically seeking out input from parents.

“I love the fact Mary Ann reaches out to parents and cares about what happens at the grassroots,” Said IPS parent Jocelyn Allen. “I feel like we’ve seen progress in IPS thanks to her leadership.”

Other committee members mentioned Sullivan’s commitment to ensuring poverty is never used as an excuse for IPS delivering anything other than an excellent education.

All IPS school board candidates were provided with Stand Indiana’s candidate survey through certified mail and/or email. Candidates were asked to return the surveys to Stand Indiana by August 27 at noon. These surveys, as well as other publicly available information about the candidates, were considered by the parent endorsement committee during its deliberations last week.

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