Kokomo — Now is the time for the Kokomo School Board to move forward with hiring a superintendent, consolidating schools and healing after a divisive election.
Those were the thoughts of incumbent Karen Sosbe, who was re-elected to the board Tuesday. Current board president Joe Dunbar also was re-elected, along with newcomer Crystal Sanburn.
The three elected ran as the BEST team, along with Barbara Gainer, who finished sixth of the eight candidates.
Gainer said she was happy with her finish, considering it was her first election and she has only lived in the community 11 years. She did not rule out another candidacy in the future.
“Who knows what the future holds? I can’t say right now.”
Sanburn was the top vote-getter of the eight, with 19.98 percent of the vote. She said she is “thankful” the election is past, and that the board can move on to the next thing.
She was also excited that Sosbe and Dunbar were elected, but disappointed Gainer could not also win.
Sanburn said Dunbar already told her she needs to be at Thursday’s work sessions, where the board will take public input on what the community wants in a new superintendent.
“There’s much to be done and little time to get it done in. I’m sure looking forward to being part of that,” she said.
Sanburn agreed with Sosbe that there is healing needed in the school district after the election. She said she was inspired by a quote she read in her husband’s prayer book Sunday, from Oswald Chambers, to “leave the broken, irreversible past in God’s hands, and step out into the invincible future with him.”
“That’s what we have to do, we have to look forward at the future as an invincible future, and we can do it as a team. It will have to be about the group making the best decisions for the community and the children. I thought Oswald was pretty on target there.”
Sosbe said she was relieved to have won and is ready to move forward.
“I have a lot to do. I have a big responsibility and the kids are No. 1. We have to mend our school system. It’s just the nastiness. We have to be there for the kids first.”
Dunbar said now that the election is past, the board can move forward.
“The process of what we’ve started can continue. We can finish our reorganization, we can continue with our budget planning and we can continue with our superintendent search. It gives us a team effort at it.”
Corey Summers said he was pleased by his numbers for a first-time candidate.
“I got to those people. You can only do what you can do. I worked hard. I did all I could do. I congratulate the winners on what they did. It’s time to go forward."
Summers said with one child in the Kokomo schools and two more
to follow, he will stay involved.
“If everything works out, I would like to run again in the future.”
Other candidates Mickey Hart, Willard Rice and Josh Spencer could
not be reached for comment.