TERRE HAUTE, Ind. (WTHI) – The FBI investigation into the Vigo County School Corporation is hard to forget. For many, it’s what made Tuesday’s school board race one to watch.
While the results show current board members reclaiming the three open seats, one candidate is using her loss as a platform to call for change.
You may remember Leah Myers, she was one of the nine candidates in District 1 looking to win a spot.
“This was something I had planned to do two years ago,” she said, “I’ve noticed a difference in our school corporation and the priorities that have been set, we’re not putting students first in a lot of cases.”
However, Tuesday’s election results weren’t what she had hoped for.
“Shock, it was complete utter shock, I had people Facebook messaging me today, calling me,” she said.
Myers wasn’t too far away from claiming a seat. Only 605 votes stood between her and Incumbent Mel Burks, who had the second highest votes in the district, after Incumbent Jackie Lower.
“It surprised me, I will say this much, I’m sad and a little disheartened at the results,” she said, “but 605 votes shy is not anything to sneeze at. I’m proud of the way we ran our campaign, I am so proud of the way we poised ourselves. We didn’t play any dirty games or politics, we really just kept it focused on issues and I think people in Vigo County really appreciated that.”
Myers says during her time campaigning, she spoke with a lot of residents who made it clear they were wanting change within the school board.
“One of the things that I heard the most was that they felt like they didn’t have a voice,” Myers said, “They felt that they couldn’t go to the current board members and discuss freely about things, they felt intimidated.”
Though no new faces will be added to the board, Myers says she just wants better from not only the board members, but the community as well.
“I really do believe people want a change, but we really need to stand together and make that happen,” she said, “I’d like to see more transparency, I’d like to see more public input, I’d like to know people’s voices are being heard because that’s the number one thing that people were saying, that they felt like why bother attending a school board meeting, it’s a done deal, my voice doesn’t count. I’d like to see that change.”
Myers says the loss will not hinder anything on her end. She says she plans to continue being involved in the community.
“This doesn’t change anything for me, I’ll still continue to attend school board meetings and I will still continue to be involved,” she said, “I do plan to run again, so this is not the end. This is something that I will continue to do, it’s just going to be a matter of two years, four years, when I decide the next chance will be.”