Filings closed Tuesday afternoon for the Duluth School Board and some familiar names have emerged as candidates.
Former Duluth teacher Paul Sandholm filed Monday for District 3, a seat which until then had attracted no candidates. Sandholm started teaching in 1995 at East High School and Ordean Middle School before moving to Morgan Park Middle School in 1999 to teach eighth-grade science. After Morgan Park closed, Sandholm moved to Lincoln Park Middle School. He retired in 2017.
Challenging Sandholm for the District 3 seat is Loren Martell. Martell has been a longtime critic of the Red Plan who gathered more than 2,000 signatures in 2012 to guarantee a financial review of the plan by the state auditor. This is Martell’s fifth campaign for a seat on the School Board. He unsuccessfully ran for an At Large seat in 2017, a District 3 seat in 2015, an At Large seat in 2013 and the District 2 seat in 2011.
The District 3 seat is being vacated by Nora Sandstad.
The District 2 seat is also up for reelection. Incumbent David Kirby will run against former School Board member Harry Welty. Welty served on the board from 1995 to 2003 in the District 2 seat. In 2013, he won an At Large seat, which he held through 2017 when current board members Josh Gorham and Sally Trnka were elected to the two open At Large seats.
An At Large seat is also up for reelection this year. Incumbent Alanna Oswald has filed to run. She has been a big proponent of equity for all students and voted in favor of changing how compensatory funds were distributed to schools.
Oswald is being challenged by University of Minnesota Duluth professor John Schwetman. Schwetman served on the Duluth Civil Service Board from 2008 to 2013 and served as the chair of the Senate District 7 Democratic-Farmer-Labor Party from 2005 to 2012. He also served as his union's representative to the Duluth Central Labor Body.
Because no more than two candidates filed for each seat, there will not be a primary election for School Board. The general election is Nov. 5.