School board elections are on Tuesday

Ashton Brown
Posted 5/7/16

DOVER — School board elections set for Tuesday in the Milford and Smyrna districts were canceled because only a single candidate filed to run in each district.

But, elections in three other …

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School board elections are on Tuesday


DOVER — School board elections set for Tuesday in the Milford and Smyrna districts were canceled because only a single candidate filed to run in each district.

But, elections in three other Kent County school districts do have contested seats.

Those districts are Caesar Rodney, Capital and Lake Forest.

In the Caesar Rodney district, three candidates — Mark Dyer Sr., Dana Bordley LeCompte and Michael Marasco — are running for the seat held by the board’s vice president Melody Heavner, who served one five-year term.

“When I ran, I committed to one five-year term and in the last five years, I have learned a tremendous amount about the school system,” Ms. Heavner said.

“Now, I’m choosing to be an advocate for Caesar Rodney and public schools across Delaware and will be able to effectively do that now that I have a good handle on how all the pieces of the pie fit together to create a successful education system.”

In Capital, candidates listed on the ballot are Andres Ortiz, Kevin Ohlandt and Chanda Jackson. All three are running for the seat now held by Nauleen Perry.

Ms. Perry was appointed to her position last year when Brian Lewis left his post on the board after winning a seat on Dover City Council. Ms. Perry chose not to run to become a permanent member of the board.

Sean Christiansen, vice president of Capital School Board, urged citizens to vote.

“The election is important and people should get out to vote because the board plays a large part in the well-being of the education of our students and they’re our future,” said.

“There are also a lot of tax dollars involved in schools and people who live within the district, in my opinion, should be engaged in where their tax dollars are going,” he added.

Lake Forest incumbent Earle Dempsey is running for reelection against two opponents — Austin Auen and Lendon Dennis Jr.

Lake’s 2015 election was an anomaly last year with three vacant seats after an expired term and two resignations.

The election welcomed a new member to serve a full five-year term and two new additions to serve out terms with one and three years remaining.

Mr. Dempsey won the seat with one remaining year vacated by Andrea Miller and has chosen to run again.

“There have been a lot of changes made over the past year within the district and we’ve made some tremendous strides, but there’s still a lot to do and I want to be there to see it through,” he said.

Mr. Dempsey is a Lake Forest graduate and has four children between the ages of 9 and 13 currently in the Lake Forest School system.

All candidates are running for a five-year term which will begin on July 1 and expire on June 30, 2021.

The election is Tuesday and polls are open from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m.

In the uncontested races, Renate Wiley is the lone candidate in Milford; Kathryn O’Connell was the only candidate to file in Smyrna.

Ms. Wiley is running for re-election as the current school board president. Ms. O’Connell is running to replace Ronald Eby, a two-term member.

Mr. Eby, a former Smyrna teacher, coach and administrator and the board’s current president, is stepping down.

Ms. O’Connell is a lifelong resident of the Smyrna district and has two children, ages 15 and 5, in the district.

“I have worked at (the University of Delaware) for eight years now and have seen firsthand what allows students to succeed in college and it all comes down to a strong educational foundation which starts in elementary school,” she said.

“I want to ensure that not only my kids, but all the students of Smyrna School District are prepared to be successful in college, at a trade or in a career.”

Information by district



• Mark Dyer, Sr.

•Dana Bordley LeCompte

• Michael Marasco

Polling Locations

• Allen Frear Elementary

• W. Reily Brown Elementary

• W.B. Simplson Elementary



• Andres Ortiz

• Kevin Ohlandt

• Chanda Jackson

Polling Locations

• East Dover Elementary

• Hartly Elementary

• William Henry Middle



• Austin Auen

• Earle Dempsey

• Lendon Dennis Jr.

Polling Locations

• Lake Forest East Elementary

• Lake Forest North Elementary

• Lake Forest South Elementary

• Lake Forest High School

All polling locations are open 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Tuesday.



• Renate K. Wiley


• Kathryn O’Connell

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