October 27





Covering Wayne Township since 1933




Clocks jump

back an hour

Battle for the ages

It’s Trump or Biden

on November 3


Savings Time

returns this


Remember to

turn back your

clocks one

hour before

going to bed Saturday night.

The time changes at 2 a.m.

Sunday as we fall back in time.

The clocks will stay that way

until, March 8, 2021, when we

spring forward an hour.

No school

next Tuesday

Tuesday, November 3 is both

an election day and a day off of

school. Voting will take place at

the high school fieldhouse next

to the football stadium.

Wayne Township also will

be closed November 25-27 for

Thanksgiving. Winter break

begins Monday, December 21.

The end of the first semester is

January 15, 2021.

Early voting

ends Monday

For those interested in casting

an early ballot for the 2020

election, early voting ends in

Indiana Monday. You can vote

at the City-County building

downtown or at the Krannert

Family Center at 605 South

High School Road. Krannert

voting is open 11 a.m.-7 p.m.

Monday-Friday and 10 a.m.-5

p.m. this Saturday and Sunday.

Follow us at




Graphic by Atzel Nunez

2 Spotlight Ben Davis High School Indianapolis, IN October 27, 2020

“Together, we’re

committed to protecting

the American

people, preserving


values, defending











- President

Donald Trump

By Lexie Bordenkecher


President Donald Trump

is seeking a second term

as president. A republican,

Trump won the 2016 election

over Hillary Clinton. Here is

where he stands on criticval


Climate change

While Trump doesn’t

call climate change a hoax,

he hasn’t done much at

all to reverse the effects

caused by climate change.

He has talked down to

Greta Thunberg, an teenage

environmental activist, and

discredited her. He does

not believe climate change

is manmade. He also withdrew

from the Paris Agreement,

which was created to

help stop the irreversible

damage of climate change.

Gun rights

Trump has no intentions

of repealing the Second

Amendment. He wants to

remove guns from “dangerous

individuals,” but not all


He supports the idea that

school teachers should have

guns in their classrooms to

use for protection. Trump

wants to keep the Supreme

Court republican so they

can continue to protect the

Second Amendment. He

believes the bigger issue is

mental health, and if we

improve our mental health

there won’t be as many

mass shootings.

LGBTQ rights

Trump is known for his

discrimination of LGBT

people. In 2017, he tweeted

that transgender people

should not be allowed to

serve in the military “in

any capacity”. He did not

acknowledge Pride month

in 2017, 2018, and 2020.

However, in 2019 he made

“Make America Great

Again” shirts in rainbow

font, raising money for his

campaign, not the LGBT



Trump went to Fordham

University in New York,

and then University of

Pennsylvania and received

a degree in economics. He

favors increased funding

to charter schools and is a

proponent of school choice.


Donald Trump has no

intentions of raising individual

taxes. His tax plan

benefits the rich more than

it does the working class.

Women’s reproductive


Donald Trump’s stance

on abortion and overall

women’s healthcare has

changed over the years. In

the 1990s, he stated that

he was “very pro-choice”,

saying that he hates the

procedure and everything

surrounding it, but still be-

Who you got?

Trump, Biden face off in historic battle

lieves in choice. Since then,

he has shown no support of

that idea. He has said that

he would vote to overturn

Roe V. Wade. Trump has

tried to make employers

responsible for birth control

covered by insurance.

Student debt

Forgiving student debt

isn’t one of the big issues

Trump has talked about.

He suspended all student

loan interest and payments

until December 31, 2020.

Military spending

Donald Trump has increased

military spending

over his years in office

Civil rights

In the first presidential

debate of 2020, President

Trump failed to denounce

and acknowledge white

supremacy in the US.

Instead, he told the

far-right organization,

Proud Boys,

to “stand back, and

stand by”. He has

criticized the Black

Lives Matter movement,

and called it

a “socialist” organization

that harms

black people. Although

Trump made no comments

on it, his supporters started

a hashtag on social media

called “#Repealthe19th”,

indicating a desire to strip

women of their right to


By Mary Adams

lifestyle editor

Joe Biden was vice prsident

under Barrack Obama

and is seeking his first term

as president. Biden is the

democratic choice for president.

Here is a look at where

he stands on critical issues.

Climate change

Joe Biden is against the

Green New Deal. His team

plans to ensure that by

2050, the US achieves a

100% clean energy economy.

Gun rights

Biden is in favor of universal

background checks.

In a tweet he said “it’s clear

we need to close the loophole

that allows individuals

to buy guns online or at

gun shows without a background

check. ”

LGBTQ rights

Biden is in favor of protecting

LGBTQ+ people

from discrimination and violence

in the workplace. He

wants to protect individuals

from violence towards

the transgender community,

especially transgender

women of color. He wants

to support LGBTQ+ youth.

He plans to expand healthcare

access for the LGBTQ+



Biden is against for-profit

charter schools. He feels

that they take money from

public schools, which need

the money more.

Biden thinks two years

of college should be free.

He thinks public schooling

should be free until grade

14, and he has said this

could be done by closing a

single tax loophole. Biden

favors a strong public education.


Biden wants to increase

capital gains tax rates. He

wants to increase the tax

rate to 28%. he wants to

enforce a minimum 15%

rate on corporations with

at least $100 million in net

profits so they can’t avoid

taxes all together. Biden

wants to increase the tax

rate on upper-income

Americans, those making

more than $400,000.

Women’s reproductive


Biden wants to have

some limits on abortion

without abolishing it completely.

He wants to ban

late term abortions.

Student debt

Biden wants to expand

and fix existing student

debt-relief programs. He

wants to simplify them and

make sure they help teachers.

Biden also favors making

college free for students

whose parents makes less

than $125,000 annually.

Military spending

Biden wants to boost the

defense spending budget.

Biden vowed to better

equip the National Guard

and that he would work

to reassure allies rattled by

his opponent’s “America

First” approach. He said he

backs a small footprint for

U.S. troops in the Mideast,

but couldn’t promise a full

withdrawal given the complicated

conditions in Syria,

Afghanistan and Iraq.

Civil rights

Biden wants to ensure

his housing plan makes investments

in homeownership

and make affordable

housing accessible to black,

brown, and native families.

He wants to ensure people

of color are treated with

dignity and are treated

equally in the workplace.

“If you entrust me with

the presidency, I will

draw on the best of us,

not the worst. United,

we can and will overcome

this season of

darkness in America.”

- presidential candidate Joe


October 27, 2020 Ben Davis High School Indianapolis, IN Spotlght

So this is Jorgensen

Libertarian candidate feels like the forgotten one

By Laura Fowler

staff writer

Jo Jorgensen has been here before.

Jorgensen, the 2020 presidential

candidiate of the Libertarian

Party, is no stranger to national

politicis. She was the party’s vice

presidential candidate in the

1996 election and has been involved

with the Libertarian Party

since 1983.

Everyone is familiar with the

two-party system in American

politics, which for the last 80 or

so years has been the Democrats

and Republicans. Did you know

there is a third party?

That’s right, a third party --

the Libertarian Party. The reason

you don’t hear much about this is

that for a third party to be recognized

is really hard because most

of us support either the Republicans

or Democrats. But this year,

there is more talk about this third

party because of Jorgensen.

Just so you can have a little

more insight about the Libertarian

Party, they promote civil liberties,

limiting the size and involvement

of the government and,

laissez faire capitalism (meaning

the government should just leave

the economy and make it a free


Holcomb faces tough challengers

State shutdown

a hot topic

for governor

By Brooklynn Sharp

staff writer

Suddenly, Governor Eric Holcomb

finds himself in a bit of a

race as he seeks his second term

as political leader in the state of


Holcomb has come under fire

-- even from members of his own

party -- in recent months over

his handling of the Covid-19 response.

Business owners -- especially

bars and restaurants --

have been upset with his “stages”

of opening that have handcuffed

their ability to open.

His mask mandate offered no

consequences for those refusing

to comply and then comes an unprecedented

surge by Libertarian

candidate Donald Rainwater,

who recently polled as high as

24% of the voters, and it all adds

up to a tighter then expected race

LIBERTARIAN CANDIDATE Jo Jorgensen is running for president on the Libertarian

ticket. She has been a part of the Libertarian Party since 1983 and ran for

vice president in 1996. (File photo)

Many just use this third choice

to vote for instead of the Republicans

or Democrats because they

don’t want to choose between

the two. But this year, people actually

have a reason to vote for

the Libertarian candidates.

That reason is Jorgensen.

Here are a few things she stands

by. Jo is pro-choice (meaning

she believes in women choosing

wether or not they want to have

an abortion), she doesn’t want a

wall built along the border because

she doesn’t want the parents

and children to be separated

but she supports deporting illegal

immagrents if they have done any

serious crimes.

As for the enviorment, she

wants to replace oil and coal

burning with new safe non-polluting

high-tech nuclear power


Those are only a few things

that Jorgensen stands for, but you

can see why many are choosing to

vote for her instead of President

Donald Trump or former Vise

President Joe Biden.

Government teacher Mike

Vetter pays close attention to the

for governor.

Holcomb, however,

is a Republican

governor in a state

that has gone Republican

all but eight

years since 1969.

Democrat Frank

O’Bannon served as

Governor from 1996 Holcomb Myers Rainwater

to 2003 and when he

ate of Shortridge High School

died in office Democrat Joe Kernan

finished his term.

room physician before entering

who spent time as an emergency

Other than that, Indiana has politics. Myers supports a strong

been a Republican stronghold state-run health care system, is a

since 1969. Holcomb also has the big supporter of education and

backing of Vice President Mike wants Indiana to be a leader in

Pence, who served as Indiana climate change legislation.

governor with Holcomb as his “Our students and teachers

lieutenant governor.

deserve better,” Myers said during

a campaign rally. “We owe

Holcomb believes in a strong

and diverse economy and wants our students a high-quality education.

As governor, I’ll restore

to spend $60 billion on improving

roads throughout the state, public confidence in our education

system by providing needed

including finishing Interstate 69

from Indianapolis to Bloomington.

He also is big on developing Rainwater has gained steam in


a work force, but has been hard state polling over the past two

on education and has repeatedly months as Holcomb continues to

turn back efforts to give raises to take heat for his response to the

educators across the state. global pandemic.

The Democrats counter with Rainwater is a lifelong Hoosier

and is a 1981 graduate Dr. Woody Myers, a gradu-


elections and has followed closely

the Libertarian Party.

“There are some ideas I agree

with and some of her ideas I disagree

with,” Vetter said. “The

problem is that the U.S. is a twoparty

system and it can be difficult

for a third party to break

that barrier and win the election.

“But they do help keep the Republican

and Democratic parties

in check at times. I would like to

see more people support third

parties. Not necessarily the Libertarian

party, but third parties

in general.”

In addition to her support of

the Libertarian Party, Jorgensen

is a business women from South

Carolina. She has degrees in marketing

and business from Clemson

and Baylor and has worked in

marketing with IBM.

She makes it clear why she is

running for president as a third

party candidate.

“I will govern to preserve the

life, liberty, and property of all

Americans,” said Dr. Jorgensen

on her web page. “If elected, I will

be a president who does not govern

as a member of Team Red or

Team Blue.”

It was libertarian principles,

including religious freedom and

no taxation without representation,

that moved America’s

founders to declare the country’s


Warren Central High

School in Indianapolis.

That means all three

candidate have roots

in Indianapolis, with

Holcomb graduiating

from Pike High School,

Myers from Shortridge

and Rainwater from

Warren Central.

Rainwater is an eight year veteran

of the United State Navy and

has worked in software engineering

as well as computer training

for the past 20 years.

Rainwater favors less government

and would work toward

eliminating state income taxes.

“As governor, I would propose

that the Indiana General Assembly

pass legislation to ensure that

a governor never has the unilateral

power to shut down our economy

again,” Rainwater said on his

web page. “I will not mandate the

shutdown of businesses, churches,

or schools. I will not mandate

the wearing of masks. I will not

mandate vaccinations. Hoosiers

must be well-informed and be allowed

to make their own choices

as citizens, not subjects.”



to them?

Look at former

third party



After serving as the eighth

president of the United States

from 1837-41, Martin Van Buren

was a member of the Free

Soil party in the 1848 election

and finished third.

Van Buren was a founding

member of the Democratic party.

He gained 13% of the votes

in 1848 in an

election won by

Zachary Taylor

of the Whig party.

He returned

to the Democractic

party after his

failed attempt in 1848 and was

outspoken against slavery. He

supported Abraham Lincoln in

the Civil War before dying in


Teddy Roosevelt served

as our nation’s 26th president

from 1901-1909 and ran for a

third term in 1912 as a founding

member of the Progressive

parry, often referred

to the Blue

Moose party.


earned 27 percent

of the votes

and finished

second in the 1912 election Following

the defeat he led a twoyear

expidition to the Amazon,

where he died. He remains the

youngest man elected president.

John Anderson ran as an Independent

in the 1980 election

after losing in the Republican

primaries to Ronald


Anderson ran

on a campaign of

cutting social security

taxes and

raising the gas

tax. After the 1980

election, he founded a company

called FairVote and remained

involved in politics, founding

the Justice party in 2012 before

dying in 2017.

One of the most famous third

party candidiates was Ross Perot,

who ran as an Independent

in 1992 and as a member of the

Reform Party in 1996.

A billionaire from Texas, he

made most of his money in the

computer business and ran on

a campaign of balancing the national

budget. He worked with

Apple founder

Steve Jobs after

leaving the political


Perot bowed

out of politics after

the 1996 race

and died in 2019.

4 Spotlight Ben Davis High School Indianapolis, IN October 27, 2020

How do

you decide?

Webb takes her time in making

her first voting decision

By Mary Adams

lifestyle editor

Some Ben Davis students will

be able to get the opportunity

to vote this year.

One of these students is senior

Liberty Webb. There are different

aspects of voting that need to

be taken into consideration before

actually voting.

Making sure you register to

vote is important. The deadline

to register in Indiana was October

5. Webb registered on September

15, a few weeks before the


Students also need to know

where they are voting and if they

want to vote early or on Election


Knowing your candidates is

important. Knowing the candidate’s

background and doing additional

research is important.

Webb said that she is preparing

for the election by “research-

ing everything there is to know

about both presidents. Based on

that I will make my decision on

who to vote for.”

Doing background research is

important because you will be

able to vote on who you think

will be a better president, and

not voting just based on political


Students also need to realize

why they are voting.

Webb gets her inspiration

from wanting to be a political

news anchor. Her interest in politics

helps her feel like she is involved

and making a difference in

her country.

“I just like to read up on both

candidates and see where they

stand,” Webb said. “I think it is

an interesting thing to pay attention


When pushing her friends to

vote, Webb says “if you have the

chance to vote and make a difference,

then take it.”

Webb is thankful for her

FIRST TIME VOTER Senior Liberty Webb will be voting in her first election next week and has studied both candidates

before making her decision. (Photo by Karla Toledo)

chance to vote, because she

knows some of her peers aren’t

getting the same opportunity.

She encourages students to

vote if they have the chance, and

to make a difference in their future

because every vote counts.

“Everyone has an opinion, and

everyone should get the chance to

voice it,” Webb said.

Most people remember that

first time they went to the polls

and voted. Journalism teacher

Tom Hayes drove from Ball State

to his home on the north side of

Indianapolis for his first presidential

election in 1980.

“I wanted to vote in person,”

Hayes said. “I could have cast an

absentee ballot, but I wanted to

see what it was like to be there in


Hayes recalled that he voted

for independent candidate John

Anderson in that 1980 election

because “I was a college kid who

thought a new candidate had a

chance.” Anderson finished a distance


Webb won’t say who she is

voting for.

“I’ll know when I get in that

booth,” she said.

Presidential elections have unique history

From hanging chads to one vote,

these elections have seen it all

By Mary Adams

lifestyle editor

The 2020 presidential election

is November 3. This election will

be a historical election due to the

global pandemic. There have been

many elections that have had an

impact on future elections.

The first presidential election

was held on January 7, 1789.

The first president elected was

George Washington, who was

unanimously elected into office

with 69 electoral votes.

Washington was elected twice

and he served two terms as president.

After his second term, he

didn’t want to run for a third

term. Washington made it clear

that he would have ran for a third

term if he thought it was necessary,

but he felt it was right to

stop running.

After Thomas Jefferson served

two presidential terms, he decided

that two terms was enough

for one person. Washington and

Jefferson set the precedent that

each president would only serve

two terms.

The Election of 1800 was an

odd election. It was between

Thomas Jefferson and John Adams.

This election was before the

12th Amendment, which states

that the electoral college had to

distinguish between who they

wanted as president and vice


Since this was before the

amendment was in place, the

electoral college had two votes

to place on who they wanted as

president. Whoever got the most

votes was president and whoever

was in second place got vice president.

Thomas Jefferson and his running

mate, Aaron Burr, tied for

president. They went to Congress

to break the tie. Alexander

Hamilton, the nation’s treasury

secretary, was called to choose

between the two of them. He disliked

all candidates for the presidency,

but he pushed Federalists

to vote for Thomas Jefferson.

Hamilton said that Burr was too

self-centered to take on the role

as president.

The 15th Amendment was

passed by Congress February 26,

1869, and it was ratified on February

3, 1870. This made it legal for

African American men to vote. A

month after it was ratified, March

1, 1870, the first African American

exercised this right. This man

was Thomas Mundy Peterson. He

voted in a local election in Perth

Amboy, New Jersey. The election

was to find a new town charter.

The citizens of the town gave Peterson

a medallion in 1884.

The Election of 1920 was a historic

election. The 19th Amendment

was passed by Congress in

May 1919, but it wasn’t ratified

until August 18, 1920. This was

three months before the election.

America was also recovering from

World War 1.

The two candidates were

James Middleton Cox and Warren

Harding. While taking every

state outside of the South, Harding

won by a landslide. Harding

held a neutral stance on many

subjects, which is what many

people liked. He was able to get

people from both parties to support

him. He also promised a

form of normalcy, which caught

people’s attention while recovering

from a war.

The presidential election of

1948 was historic due to a misprint

in a Chicago newspaper

that claimed New York Governor

Thomas Dewey with a historic

upset over incumbent President

Harry Truman when, in fact, Truman

was the winner.

The 2000 election was famous

for what became known as the

Hanging Chad. The state of Florida

was the votes in question and

it took five weeks and a legal battle

to proclaim George Bush the

winner over Al Gore.

Florida decided that 2000

presidential election despite

Gore winning the popular vote.

The Hanging Chad referred to

push ballots that appeared to

have been tampered with and

became known as the Hanging

Chad. Florida went to Bush by a

mere 537 votes in a state that had

more than six million votes.

There have been many elections

in the past that have shaped

how we vote today. There have

been elections held during wars

and elections held months after

“goups” were granted rights to


This year’s election could join

that long list of memorable moments

in our political history.



Trying to make a difference

By Raelynn Hughes

staff writer

Algebra teacher hopes to give back to her Shelby County community

All a community needs is a

dedicated and hardworking

individual who is

willing to make a difference. Ben

Davis’ Laura Stieneker-Taylor is

that type of person. She is currently

running for County Council

in Shelbyville, Indiana.

Stieneker-Taylor has been

teaching for 29 years. She is going

on her fourth year teaching at

Ben Davis. She started working

at NorthWest High School, but

once the high school got moved,

she decided to come to Ben Davis

because she wanted to stay on the

west side of town.

She graduated from Shelbyville

High School and lived in Indianapolis

for a brief period of time

before moving back to Shelbyville

several years ago.

One night Stieneker-Taylor

was having a conversation with

a couple of friends on Facebook

about what needed to be done

in order to make the community

better. Instead of complaining

and putting the problem on to

someone else, she asked herself,”

Why can’t I be that somebody?”

That Facebook conversation

led her to take the necessary steps

to become a candidate.

Although she loves her job as

a teacher, she wants to be that

somebody that makes a difference

in her community.

“I’m not so naive as to think

I’m gonna change the world from

the at large seat at the Shelby

County Council,” Stieneker-

Taylor said,” but I might change

something in my area. I have to

start someplace.I can’t change

the world, but I can change my

part of it.”

Because of covid, Stieneker-

Taylor hasn’t been able to campaign

like she would wants to.

She isn’t able to go to county fairs

“I have to start someplace.I can’t change the world,

but I can change my part of it.”

- algebra teacher Laura Stieneker-Taylor

and festivals where candidates

would normally go to campaign

because they have all been canceled.

She also hasn’t been able

to go door-to-door either. But

she has been able to speak at different

churches and meetings

where she can voice her opinion

and campaign. She has also done

a meet and greet where she got to

meet her neighbors and friends

to discuss what changes will be

made and why.

Since she hasn’t been able to

do a lot of in person interactions,

she has been doing a lot of online


“A lot of the work I’ve been

doing is on Facebook,” she said.

“I post videos on there that talk

about what I’m about and give

information about the election

and about Shelby Country. That’s

been the way I’ve been getting

my voice out there.”

Stieneker-Taylor no doubt has

an interesting way of thinking,

which is a strategy she is using

in her campaign. Her campaign

color is purple because she likes

to be in the middle politically.

“That’s one of the things I have

with my campaign. I talk about

how there are people that are way

far left and way far right. There

are people that are really blue and

then there are people that are really

red, but most of us are purple

in the middle,” she said.

Many people complain about

what is going on and do nothing

about it. Devoted citizens like

Stieneker-Taylor get out there

and try to be the change they

want to see in the world.

Hard works pays off

BD parent looking to make her political mark

By Raelynn Hughes

staff writer

Renee Pack is a hard working

Ben Davis parent who has spent

the last six years working hard to

get to where she is. She is running

for State Representative in District

92 (the westside of Indy).

Pack has been involved with

Wayne Township ever since her

three daughters and one son attended

and graduated from Ben

Davis. Two of her daughters were

in Spotlight themselves. She also

has a son who teaches at North

Wayne, and she is married to

Sean Pack, a local pastor who

also is very involved in the community.

She was an undergrad at Indy’s

Wesleyan University, and got her

masters degree at IUPUI.

Pack’s political interest started

back in 2008.

“My inspiration came back in

2008 when Barack Obama won,”

Pack said,” I have the education

background and the platform,

“I still want to get my voice

out there. It’s nice to let people

know who is going to be

representing them.”

- Renee Pack

why can’t I make life better for

the citizens of Indianapolis?”

In 2014, Pack ran for Wayne

Township trustee, but unfortunately


“I lost by about 200 votes.”

Pack said. “It isn’t that much,

but it still motivated me to work


Karlee Macer, current State

Representative for District 92

and close friend of Pack, appointed

Pack for this role.

She has technically already

won because she is the only candidate

running for State Rep. She

started out at pre-primary convention

where she had no competition.

She had to wait until July

6th to see if anyone would run

against her, but no one did.

Although she technically has

the job, this didn’t stop her from

campaigning. She has done many

things to get her ideas out there

like working for phone banks,

calling voters, fundraising and

also helping other campiners

with their campaigns.

“I still want to get my voice out

there,” Pack said. “It’s nice to let

people know who is going to be

representing them. There are also

many many Zoom calls.”

Renee Pack is no doubt an inspiration

to all. Even though she

lost once, she came back to do

bigger and better things. She has

overcome many obstacles, but in

the end achieved her goals.

STATE REP Ben Davis parent Renee Pack still campaigns and meets voters as

often as possible despite already winning the District 92 state rep election as an

unopposed candidate. (Submitted photo)




What qualities make up

an ideal president?

“An ideal president for me is someone who

believes above all in human rights and equality.

It doesn’t necessarily matter what their race or

gender is but they need to believe that all people

are created equal and they must do things that

show they believe that.”

- English teacher Deb Aquino

“Someone who has compassion for the citizens

of the country, someone who is reserved in their

judgement, someone who has a mastery in knowledge

but is willing to admit when they do not

know something.”

- English teacher Tim Payne

“Someone who cares and is willing to do anything

for the best interest of the people. Someone who is

open minded and doesn’t judge others.”

- senior Cristin Howard


Political signs are popping up all around

the west side in preparation for the

November 3 election. The

fieldhouse will be a voting

site in the elction next

week and Wayne Township

schools will be closed.

(Staff photos)

“My ideal president is one that keeps his promises,

but is flexible enough to change his/her stance

on issues if that is what the American people


- business teacher Rachel Jones

“My ideal president is a man or woman who is

principled, with political convictions aligned with

my own, and at the same time realistic, open-minded,

and willing to compromise for the good of the

country. He/she understands the challenges facing

the nation, both domestic and international. My

ideal president puts the social needs of our country

-- healthcare, housing, education -- and national infrastructure

on an equal plane with military spending. My ideal president

unites rather than divides, and surrounds him/herself with

knowledgeable and apolitical advisors.”

- world language teacher Bill Gilmartin

“An ideal president is one who cares about all of

the people in the country, not just certain parts

of the population, and tries to make life better for

all people who live in this country. That person

also must show sympathy and empathy for the

struggles people are going through.”

- English teacher Jennifer Roberts

“An ideal president is someone who would

actually help the people and actually will make

American great because now days everyone just

wants money.”

- senior Kathy Rodriguez

“Somebody who follows through with their word

and cares about the less fortunate.”

- junior Al’laja Steel


“My ideal president would be someone who is calm

and rational, who recognizes the clear inequalities

in our country and does what they can to fix them

or better them. Someone who can make unbiased


- junior Laila Kardad

Gaining support

where needed

Running mates, former presidents have impact

By Brentton Wharton

staff writer

In most presidential elections,

everyone’s main focus is on

the two candidates running

for office, but sometimes we forget

just how important the people

on the outside are.

Three weeks ago ago we saw

the first -- and only -- vice presidential

debate between Joe Biden

and Donald Trump’s respective

running mates, Kamala Harris

and Mike Pence. Many overlook

how pivotal these two are to this

election cycle.

Take the Democratic party in

this election, for example. It was

no secret that the party was indecisive

at first when it came to who

they wanted to nominate for the

election. Obviously, Biden was

the ultimate choice, however, his

now running mate and vice presidential

candidate, was his biggest

competition for the Democratic

presidential nomination.

So now that Harris is a part of

Biden’s camp, one can only assume

that anyone who originally

wanted her as the nominee, will

now at least consider voting for

Biden because he chose her as his

potential vice president.

It is important to note how

fundamental this can be for these

candidates. The man up for election,

Joe Biden, was once a running

mate, and vice president. He

served as Barack Obama’s vice

president for eight years, and

now he has a chance to become


Trump was voted president

in 2016 and had no real political

background, so chooisng Mike

Pence as his running mate was a

calculated decision that gave him

someone with a long history of

politics. Pence was a congressman

in Indiana and was governor

of Indiana before becoming part

of the Trump ticket.

So we’re seeing right before

our eyes how being around the

office can directly lead to a future

as the commander in chief.

Could Pence or Harris try their

hand at the presidential election

in the coming years? It’s also important

not to forget the weight

the past President and FLOTUS

still can pull in politics.

In 2016, the Obama’s endorsement

of Hilary Clinton for president

made headlines everywhere.

Obviously the Obama administration

endorses Biden, and the

voters that made Obama president

for eight years, will more

than likely turn out for Biden this

year as well.

Dan Quayle, former Vice President

(1989 - 1993) has also openly

endorsed the Trump administration.

Quayle, a former Senator

from Indiana, was the running

mate and VP for George H. W.

Bush, one of the most well known

and recognizable presidents in

American history.

Quayle is familiar with the Republican

party, and has the trust

of many after working for and

being a part of such a successful

camp. These political figures that

many forget about in these elections

are vital for their party’s


Harris, Pence, Quayle, and the

Obamas are all notable and recognizable

personalities, with the

trust of the people who support

their respective parties.

These people on the outside of

the spotlight have just as big of an

impact on the way the country is

run as the main candidates. It’s

important for voters to be familiar

with who supports the candidates

for office, and to be knowledgeable

of the policies (both

past and present) that they support

and want to push forward.



The future of politics

Many young politicians are ready to make their mark

By Lexie Bordenkecher


Pete Buttigieg

Pete Buttigieg was a major candidate

in the 2020 election. At

the young age of 38, he became

the first openly gay major candi-

Despite the fact that both


presidential candidates

The now

are more than 70 year

former Mayor

of South

olds, there are many younger politicians

who are waiting to prove

Bend, Indi-

themselves. Starting off with the

most notable ones, Alexandria

Ocasio-Cortez and Pete Buttigieg

have already made big moves.

Here is a look at some of the up

and coming names in American




In 2018, Ocasio-Cortez, known

generally as AOC, became the

youngest woman

to ever be

elected to congress.

She was

29 when she

took office.

The young

democrat was

a big supporter

of Senator Bernie


during the 2020 presidential race

up until he dropped out. AOC introduced

the “Green New Deal”,

which is a climate change proposal

which would make millions

of new jobs to improve our environment.

Some speculate that she

might run for president in 2024.

She would turn 35 in October of

that year, so she would just barely

be of age.

ana, was a



early in the

race. Butt- i-

gieg won the Iowa caucus with

two more delegate votes than

Sanders, even though Sanders

won the popular vote. He was a

very well respected candidate

due to his military background

and ability to speak many languages.

After dropping out, he

expressed his support for Joe


Tulsi Gabbard

Tusi Gabbard is a 39-year-old

member of the House of Representatives


Hawaii. She

was the first

female combat

veteran to run

for president.

Gabbard was

the first Hindu

member of congress,

and also

the first Samoan-American member

of the voting congress. She

endorsed senator Bernie Sanders

in 2016. Along with many in the

democratic party, she wants to

raise the minimum wage to $15/

hour and eliminate the electoral


Caleb Hanna

Caleb Hanna is a 20 year old

member of

the West Virginia

House of

Delegates. He

is currently

the youngest

black legislator

in the U.S.

He is against

abortion and

for second amendment rights. He

opposes his party by supporting

medical marijuana legalization.

Hanna is the youngest African-

American ever elected to a state

office. He currently attends West

Virginia State University as a

full-time student.

Joe Kennedy III

Joe Kennedy III is the grandson

of the

late Robert

F. Kennedy,

brother of

former president

John F.


He is a



member of

the U.S. House of Representatives

for Massachusetts, and served

two years in the Peace Corps and

then studied law at Harvard. In

2020, he ran for Senate, but came

up short against Ed Markey.

Michelle Wu

Michelle Wu is currently running

for the 2021 Boston mayoral

election. She

is the former

president of

the Boston

City Council.


from Chicago,

Wu attended


for law.

One of her professors was former

presidential candidate Elizabeth


She was the first Asian-American

on the Boston City Council,

and the youngest at the time.

Trump family

Donald Trump has five children

between three wives. So far,

none of them have gotten into

politics on their own.

Eric and Donald Trump Jr. are

heavily involved in their fathers

organization, both serving as executive

vice presidents. Trump’s

other son, Barron, is only 14 and

isn’t in the public eye much.

The daughters, Ivanka and Tiffany,

are both involved in other

ways. Ivanka is a businesswoman

and Trump’s advisor, and Tiffany

is a recent college graduate. Tiffany

is also a singer and model.

No word of if they would remain

in politics if Trump isn’t reelected.

FIRST FAMILY President Donald Trump has four children who have helped

him in his political life. From left, they are Donald, Ivanka, Eric and Tiffany. Son

Barron is 14 and too young for politics.

Races of interest

November 3, 2020 Election

Polls open 6 a.m.-6 p.m.

Indiana Governor’s Race

Republican Eric Holcomb

Democrat Woody Myers

Libertarian Donald Rainwater

Attorney General of Indiana

Republican Todd Rokita

Democrat Jonathan Weinzapel

U.S. House Indiana District 7

Democrat Andre Carson

Republican Susan Smith

President of the United States

Republican Donald Trump

Democrat Joe Biden

Libertarian Jo Jorgensen

American Solidarity Party Brian Carroll

Green Party Howie Hawkins

Independent Abram Loeb

Independent Valerie Lin McCray

Independent Deborah Ann Rouse

Independent Joseph Charles Schriner

Independent Christopher Stried

Independent Kasey Wells

Wayne Township School Board

see candidate profiles, pages 10-11




Lexie Bordenkecher

Opinions editor:

Denise Gimlich

And in the future...

What high school journalists would like to see

Lifestyle editor:

Mary Adams

Sports editor:

Zion Brown

Photo editor:

Isli Trejo



Aaron Ayala, Choyce Cephus,

Allison Flores, Sophie Dorrance-

Minch, Frida Fonseca, Laura

Fowler, Raelynn Hughes, Atzel

Nunez, James McNeal, Jaylyn

Patrick, Corbin Robinson,

Brooklynn Sharp, Nick Wert,

Brentton Wharton


Tom Hayes


Sandra Squire

Spotlight is the official newspaper of

Ben Davis High School. It was created

and is maintained by the Board of

Education of the Metropolitan School

District of Wayne Township as part of

the curriculum of the school district.

Its purpose is to allow students to

develop and refine their skills as

journalists under the supervision of the

principal, Sandra Squire, and faculty

of Ben Davis High School.

Spotlight represents and exemplifies

Ben Davis High School and is not a

public or open forum. The principal

and faculty of Ben Davis High School

are therefore charged by the Board of

Education with the responsibility of

exercising editorial oversight to ensure

that contents of Spotlight reflect

Wayne Westside Community Values,

which may be found on the Wayne

website and are available upon request

from Ben Davis High School.

It is the policy of Spotlight to accept

letters to the editor from all readers.

All readers must be signed and

verified for permission. The editor

reserves the right to edit the letter for

journalistic and grammar purposes as

well as to maintain a safe environment

and to exempt prohibited material.

Letters to the editor can be submitted

to Tom Hayes in room X109 or to the

editors. Letters can also be e-mailed to

Tom Hayes at tom.hayes@wayne.k12.

in.us or to the editors.

Readers who submit letters sent via

e-mail must see either Tom Hayes or

the editors for verification if they wish

to be published.

Businesses interested in advertising

in Spotlight should contact Tom Hayes

at 317-988-7148. Spotlight publishes

at least six issues per school year and

the online version can be found at

www.bdspotlight.com Advertising

rates are available upon request.

When it comes to thinking

about their futures,

a survey of more than

200 high school student media

students from throughout central

Indiana found that education and

the environment are their top concerns.

The survey was conducted by the

Spotlight staff and included student

media students from Ben Davis and

Southport high schools.

Here is a top five look at what

student journalists are concerned

about for their futures:


Dependecy on technology.

It has been said that current

high school students are

among the most tech-savvy generation

in our country’s history.

While acknowledging that is

likely the case, many students are

cocerned that such a heavy reliance

on technology could hurt society in

years to come.

“Will future generations forget

about everything and only know

about electronic devices? Will they

depend on that and only that?,” junior

Ricardo Torres said.

Along with technology, students

raised a big concern about social

media and platforms like Twitter,

Facebook, Instagram and Snap-


“The kids raised with social media

will have their entire lives out

there for the world to see,” junior

Emilia Avalos-Felix said. “That will

have an affect on them and likely

not in a good way.”

Some think that reliance on technology

could filter down to employment

concerns. They say that

is not a good thing.

“I am afraid that human society

and workers will be replaced by robots,”

senior Zion Brown said.


While many high school

age students are not yet eligible

to vote, politics is very much

on the mind of these students.

Several issues were brought up in

relation to politics:

• Covid-19. Students expressed

concerned over how

our government is mandating

life choices during this

pandemic. “We have lived

our entire lives without

something like this and then

no one handles it well,” Torres


• Poverty. “Poverty is rising all

the time,” senior Isli Trejo

said. “In our world there are

celebrities that could give

hundreds of people thousands

fof dollars and still b

wealthy. These poeple are

overly rich and instead of

coming together to heklp

those in need, they choose

not to. Our government

should look at this.”

• Jobs. While acknowledging

that Covid-19 put a halt to

job creation back in March,

students are concerned

about what steps our government

will take to make

sure jobs are available in the



This is a generation

who has witnessed countless

acts of violence among all races, has

seen the Black Lives Matter movement

grow to incredible numbers

and has witnessed -- through the

nightly news -- acts of violence and

outrage against all races.

“Being a woman of color and

growing tensions day by day, I’d

hate to endure real injustce from

another person or law enforcements,”

senior Jordyn Coleman


During downtown rallies last

May and June, several Ben Davis

students took part in protesting racial


“I would absolutely speak out

“I feel racism needs to stop.

History is literally repeating

itself and I hate that I am living

through it.”

- senior Jaylyn Patrick

against injustice again but as my

dad said, I hope this is the last time

I ever have to,” junior Kansas Robinson

said after attending a downtown

rally in May.

“One of the concerns for my generation

growing up is that we are

so on the egde with racism and

inequalities,” junior Laura Fowler

said. “We are the main factor of

how we live our lives and racism

should not be a part of it.”

“I feel racism needs to stop,” senior

Jaylyn Patrck said. “It’s gone

on too long and brings along so

many problems that should never

ver been thought of. History is literally

repeating itself and I hate

that I am living through it.”


This response included everything

from how to deal

with the hybrid schedule we are on

to how to pay for college to what

career fields to study for the future.

“Some kids are not motivated

enough to do e-learning and some

kids need more help then e-learning

provides,” Fowler said.

While e-learning and he hybrid

schedule was a hot topic, an even

hotter one was what to do with

your education in the future.

“I worry about how to pay for

college, I worry about how Covid

will affect my ability to go to college

and I just worry about college

in general,” senior Denise Gimlich


Surprisingly, most students favor

more education.

“We need more hours in school

to allow more time for students

to learn and study,” senior Atzel

Nunez said. “But no homework because

that is the downfall of many

students. Longer school hours to

complete the work.”

Seniors aren’t the only ones worried

about college.

“I always worry about college,”

sophomore Raelynn Hughes said.

“I want to be able to go to college

and live in a dorm room, not stay at

home and do classes online.”



Far and away the most pressing

concern expressed for the

future was the environment.

Some students called it global

warming, some called it climate

change and some just referred to

it as littering, but whatever it was

called, it was clear that today’s generation

cares about their environment.

“We have to take care of our

world by not littering, cleaning up

trash and watering our grass, trees

and flowers,” sophomore Brooklynn

Sharp said. “We have to stop

harming mother nature.”

“I worry about what kind of irreversible

damge will have been

done to the environment by the

time I want to start a family,” senior

Brentton Wharton said. “What

will everything look and feel like?

“Right now wildfires are raging

across the world and will everyplace

in the world feel the affetcs of

them soon? Will farming be impossible?

These kinds of things can’t be

changed with a snap.”

“Climate change is a major issue

today with all the rises in pollution,”

senior Holly Gibson said. “I

would love it if people would start

using better resources instead of

the kind that hurt the earth.”

She is not alone,

“Is mother nature mad at us?,”

Coleman said. “I’m concerned because

the way the world is going

right now, how many years we

actually have left. Are us humans

running the world down into the

ground to be destroyed?”

These students know a problem

when they see it.

“Climate change concerns me

because not many countries take

it very seriously and the quality of

earth could be degraded as a result

of that,” Brown said.

“Is mother nature mad at us?

Are us humans running the

world down into the ground

to be destroyed?”

- senior Jordyn Coleman



Where do you

get your


Social media plays a big part in what you know and how you know it

By Sophie Dorrance-Minch

staff writer

Social media has a huge impact

on the elections.

Don’t think so? President

Donald Trump joined Twitter in

2009 and since then has posted

more than 45,000 tweets, with

more than 17,000 coming since he

was elected president.

Trump averages roughly 140

tweets a day since becoming

president and sent out a record

202 tweets back on June 6, 2020.

Social media is an important

source for American political

news. It also is a virtually unmediated

way for politicians to

talk to their followers and it is

a largely unregulated medium to

broadcast ads.

Name a political candidate --

even at the school board level --

and you can find Twitter pages,

Facebooks pages and Instagram

posts for each candidate.

Every generation is impacted

by social media differently, so the

overall use of social media as a

platform for elections varies.

For instance, people, particularly

those under 30, are turning

to social media as their primary

source of news while older generations

focus on television.

Those who do use social media

stay in touch with others who

share similar political viewpoints

and they consume the same news

sources, talking and reflecting

over the trending news.

“Social media influences politics

greatly,” deaf and hard of

hearing instructor Kaliandra

Walbert said. “Many politicians

use it for their image, to promote

their beliefs and to reach a large

amount of people at once.”

Social media is used as a direct

way politicians can communicate

with followers and rivals.

Political stories -- such as Mike

Bloomberg’s campaign -- have

demonstrated the power of social

media and its platforms. Because

of politicians having such power,

they’re able to hack onto social

media, and run messages through

their followers and rivals. They

also tend to place ads in video


A study earlier this year by

pewresearch.com, shows that

roughly 55% of social media users

are worn out by political ads and

that 72% percent of social media

users say that discussing politics

online is “stressful and frustrating.

That same survey also says that

“I use known sites only that

are reliable or familiar.”

- Deaf and hard of hearing instructor

Kaliandra Walbert

35% of social media users find

polticial discussions interesting

and that a mere 29% of users find

people with common political


“I use known sites only that are

reliable or are familiar,” Walbert

said. “I might also look at other

articles to see if there is a common

thread (i.e. attacking a specific

person or group to promote

another). I check dates, frequently

used sources (and if each article

has multiple reliable sources)

and opt for longer articles with

multiple sources instead of ones

with unnamed sources.”

There is no denying the impact

social media has on politics.

In June, a group of TikTok users

joined together to order tickets

for a Trump rally in Oklahoma.

The result was a smaller then expected

crowd due to the TikTok

users placing ticket orders they

never intended to use.

But mostly, social media is

used for news.

“I get a lot of political news

from social media via friends,

campaign ads, or groups like

Women Reshaping Indiana,” science

teacher Lauren Wyatt said.

“If I read a questionable story or

claim, I will google it and look

for legitimate sources like CNN,

BBC, or NPR.”

Wyatt realizes the impact social

media has on politics.

“I think it has a huge influence

on political views,” she said. “ A

lot of ignorance, hate, racism, and

fake news is being spread by certain

groups of people.”

Social media is able to reach

people behind the scenes in order

to make the ads more appealing

to its audience. They manage to

target ads to certain demographics

through the use of algorithms.

Social media also is very much

a generational things.

While calling himself “very

much old school,” ROTC instructor

David Thompson says social

media is about his last stop for


“I do not get my political news

from social media, which I believe

is more opinions than fact,”

Thompson said. “I think that

unreliable and irresponsible social

media has far more effect on

people’s opinions than it should.”

President Trump uses twitter

as a modern presidential tool. His

tweets -- especially those in the

morning of any day -- can often

change the entire news cycle for

that day and on top of that make

decisions about what people are

going to talk about that day in

the news, hence the news covering


No other politician has the

same power on twitter as Trump

in 2020.

To be clear, social media is

amplifying America’s polarized

news bubbles and is another

source where they receive news.

Different people use different

platforms and they can be used

as a tool depending on the circumstances

such as the number

of followers. Politicians are able

to communicate more with their

supporters as well.

10 Spotlight Ben Davis High School Indianapolis, IN October 27 2020

Meet the candidates

Plenty of options for three Wayne Township school board spots

Karen Burke

Karen Burke is a lifelong westsider

who had three children attend

Wayne Township schools

and currently has a granchild at

Chapel Hill.

Burke owns

Graceful Touch

Home Care, LLC, a

personal home care

service for senior

citizens. She spent

27 years in health

care, most of the

years in management

at St. Vincent Hospital &


What motivated you to run for a spot

on the Wayne Township school board?

“ I have lived in Wayne Township

nearly all my life and have

always had the desire to not only

serve the community, but represent

the students and advocate

for their education and future.”

What do you see as the main functions

of a school board?

“To work as a team to establish

the goals, vision and safety assurances

for students in order to ensure

the best possible educational


“To represent the concerns of

the citizens, taxpayers and parents

to the school administrators,

and to represent the needs of the

students and school district to

the citizens, taxpayers and parents

of the community.

“To create policies and rules

for the administration to implement.

“To oversee the responsibility

of the superintendent.

“Responsible for the oversight

of the district’s fiscal responsibilities

and annual operating budget

as regulated by the state of Indiana.”

What are your top priorities for the

school board?

“Supporting school safety and

security (physical and emotional)

for students and staff of Wayne


“Advocate the development of

more personal educational programs

for the students

“Promote the hiring of diverse

staff, administration and teachers

to ensure all cultures are represented

“Working with other school

board members to support and

encourage our superintendent

and his staff to be the best they

can be

“Enhance the educational programs

that maintain the current

high standards of Wayne Township’s

graduation rate

If elected, what will be some of your

main goals as a board member?

“Prioritize what is best for the

students, starting with academics

and bridging our educational

philosophy into their home.

“Help oversee the educational

needs for students and make sure

they are equitable for all.

“Be transparent and communicate

any changes that will affect

the community.

“Appeal to the

needs of all and

find solutions to

the concerns of the

school, staff and


“Establish and

revise policies that

reflect the current

educational landscape.

“Give additional support for

struggling families: financially,

mentally, or technologically.”



Shirley Deckard is a retired

teacher who had three children

attend Wayne Township schools

and five grandchildren attend

Wayne. She has been president of

the board three times during her

28 years serving on the Board of


What motivated you to run for a spot

on the Wayne Township school board?

“I decided to run again because

of my experience and my love for

this school district and its community.

“Many of the successes we

have all seen with MSD Wayne

Township have come from the

continuity of its leadership, from

long-established board members

to Superintendents who far exceed

the national/state average

for their tenure. I know the history,

the values, and the people

who have helped to make MSD

Wayne and the Wayne community

great! My goal this term to

help instill these to our newer

board members.

What do you see as the main functions

of a school board?

“As defined by law, a board’s

main functions are to create policy

and to hire/evaluate the superintendent.

However, there are

the unwritten functions of:

*understanding the community

and developing a working

partnership with it;

*making oneself available to

respond to community members’

questions and concerns;

*advocating for one’s district

(and all issues regarding Public

Education) at the state level;

*being an active member of

organizations that give on-going

professional development as a

board member.”

What are your top priorities for the

school board?

“MSD Wayne is a premier

school district, with more na-

tional recognition than many are

aware. So, goal one is to continue

to be so, and to continue to

spread the good news about our


“I also see it as my duty, and

one which I welcome, to help

newer board members to acclimate

to our culture and our climate

through helping them understand

our history.

What do you see as the schools board

main responsibility to

the citizens in its township?

“Board members

have a tremendous


to be good

stewards of our

citizens resources,

beginning with their most valuable

ones...their children. The

board needs to be constantly

considering how our schools

can be the safest, most nurturing

environments possible. We

need to understand the needs the

children have in order to offer all

necessary for them to become the

best individual that they can be...

to grow fully into successful and

responsible adults.

“At the same time, board members

have a responsibility to use

our limited state funding in a way

that makes for good stewardship

of our communities financial resources.

This is sometimes quite

the balancing act.”

Have you held any other public office?

No. Being a good school board

member has been quite challenging,

but, satisfying, enough.

Mikeal Gordon

Mikeal Gordon is a fulltime

student working on a degree

in business administration. His

daughter graduated from Ben Davis

last spring.

What motivated you to run for a spot

on the Wayne Township school board?

“My motivation behind running

for the Wayne Township

School Board is to be a part of the

solution for our children and is

my way of serving in a great community.

“Every child deserves to receive

a quality education in order

to be successful long past the

days they leave our buildings.

Whether this means moving onto

college, a trade school, the military

or straight into the workforce

I want to help ensure that

every student is ready to make a

positive impact on their future.

“As a father of seven, two of

which have graduated and went

on to serve in the military, two

who are currently in college, one

who recently graduated through

the Thrive special needs program,

one who is in high school and re-

ceiving dual credits through Vincennes

University, and one still in

middle school, I understand the

value of providing an education

that fits them as an individual. “

What are your top priorities for the

school board?

• To be a voice of the community

in matters of public education.

• To support the school

district while understanding that

there are many different views

and opinions within the district

and the community.

• To assure that adequate

facilities and resources are provided

for the proper functioning

of our schools, both in person and


What do you see as the school boards

main responsibility to the citizens in its


• Listening actively to the


• Engaging the community

in prioritizing the achievement of

each student



district at



Recognizing the need to seek

the improvement of education

throughout the state, not only in

Wayne Township.

• Thinking always that the

scholars are first.

If elected, what will be some of your

main goals as a board member?

• Asking the tough questions

• Listening to the views of

all parties on all issues.

• Respecting the oath that

I will swear to.

• Always vote my conscience

to represent the best interest

of the students.

Susan Graves

Susan Graves is a 1982 Ben Davis

graduate with a son who is a

sophomore at Ben Davis University.

She holds a Masters Degree

in Curriculum, Instruction, and

Assessment and is a Nationally

Board Certified Teacher who

taught second and third graders

in IPS and Pike Township.

What motivated you to run for a spot

on the Wayne Township school board?

“Last September I retired from

a 32 year career as an elementary

teacher and instructional coach.

Before I actually retired though,

I started thinking about “What’s

next for me”? Where would my

path go?

“One thing I knew without

question was that I wanted to

stay connected to the field of

educating our children. The

thought of running for a school

board position had crossed my

mind, but it was just that, a fleeting


“I believe that children deserve

the very best that our educational

system can offer them, and I am

proud of the work that Dr. (Jeff)

Butts and his

team of amazing

educators have

done for kids.

I believe that

I will bring a

wealth of experience,

questions, and the desire

to serve our children.”

What do you see as the main functions

of a school board?

“First and foremost as a school

board member, I am an elected

state officer, and will abide by the

Oath of Office Pledge I will agree

to and support at the Swearing In


“As a former public school

educator, I will always advocate

for public education at the local,

state, and national level.”

What are your top priorities for the

school board?

“To begin, a priority will be for

me to build a strong, committed

relationship between myself and

the other board members, the

superintendent, and the Wayne

Township Classroom Teachers

Association. As a classroom

teacher, that is the first place to

start ALWAYS, with relationship


“The school board and the

district leaders must be completely

transparent with data,

practices, and evaluations before

policy should be made that is in

the best interest of kids. In addition,

building that same dedicated,

honest relationship with our

community is crucial. We must

have their support and action.”

If elected, what will be some of your

main goals as a board member?

“As a new member of the

school board, my main goals will

be to listen to what our community,

students, and leadership is

telling us and to look at supporting

data to back policies and procedures.

“I plan to encourage the school

board and administration to hold

meetings off campus to enable

residents more easily access to

the meetings. As a servant leader

it is important to empathize with

families so they can support the

growth of their children. My last

goal is to understand and question

the systems in place within

the district. Especially during

this time in our country, it is important

that we make sure we

are doing everything within our

power to grow all children and

make them strong citizens in our







Brandon Bowman


Term expires

December 31, 2022

Michael Nance

Vice Presiudent

Term expires

December 31, 2022

Phyllis Lewis


Term expires

December 31, 2020

Ben Wakefield

Board Member

Term expires

December 31, 2022

Raimeka Graham

Board Member

Term expires

December 31, 2022

Shirly Deckard

Board Membe

Term expires

December 31, 2020

Trish Logan

Board Member

Term expires

December 31, 2020

Brandi London

Brandi London is a Registered

Nurse who co-owns a vocation

training school and healthcare

education center. She has had

two son graduate from Ben Davis

and currently has a son at Chapel


What motivated you to run for a spot

on the Wayne Township school board?

“I’m a mom of two Wayne

township graduates and a Wayne

student. I am passionate about our

community and want to continue

the work of our school board in

developing & implementing policies

that affect positive change.

As a high school educator, I value

public education and want to use

my experience and knowledge to

help the students and families of

Wayne township.”

W h a t

do you see

as the main


of a school


“ T h e

main function of the school

board is development of policies

and oversight of the Superintendent.

The school board has major

influence over important factors

that directly impact our district

resources, including the budget.

The role of the school board is essential

in providing our students

and staff with resources necessary

to ensure student success

while maintaining safe schools.”

What are your top priorities

for the school board?

“My top three priorities for

the school board include student

safety (particularly during

our current pandemic), equitable

funding for our district,

and increasing engagement with

our communities and families of

Wayne township.”

What do you see as the schools board

main responsibility to the citizens in its


“The school board has three

main responsibilities to the public:

provide for safety of our students

and staff, creating policies

that align with Wayne township’s

core values and diverse

population, and decision-making

that’s based on honest and fair


If elected, what will be some of your

main goals as a board member?

If elected to the Wayne Township

School Board, my three main

goals are 1) navigating through

the current pandemic with policies

that focus on student safety

while maintaining academic

rigor; 2) focusing on budgetary

restraints that threaten the future

of essential Wayne township

programs & services; and

3) building a stronger & more

engaging connection between

the school board and the Wayne


Melissa Richey

Melissa Richey is a Ben Davis

graduate who has raised seven

children through Wayne Township

schools. She currently owns

Home Realty here on the west


What motivated you to run for a spot

on the Wayne Township school board?

“I want to be able to help engage,

enhance and enrich our

schools and community.”

What do you see as the main functions

of a school board?

“To be responsive to our community

regarding our schools but

also to uphold

the values and

policies of our

school system

that will protect

our administrators,

teachers and


What are your top priorities for the

school board?

“My top priority is to engage

our community and families so

they are always in the know.”

What do you see as the schools board

main responsibility to the citizens in its


“The main responsibility of the

school board should be to engage

our community, teachers, parents

and students. Every citizen needs

to know what is goin on in our

schools and be well informed.”

If elected, what will be some of your

main goals as a board member?

“Some of my goals are to engage

our community in meetings,

events and conversations, to

enhance our ability to come together

to solve issues within our

schools/community and to enrich

the lives of our Wayne families.”

Lisa Schmitz

Lisa Schmitz is a former Human

Resources Executive, having

been in Human Resources in Indy

for more than 25 years. She left

her corporate role to start a community


center nonprofit


her husband

that is located

in Mars

Hill. She also

runs a small

floral design

business and

does weddings, events, and arrangements

for loved ones.

What motivated you to run for a spot

on the Wayne Township school board?

“It is important to me that we

have representation for our students

in the area of Mars Hill. I

have been a part of this community

for over 15 years in a corporate

and nonprofit capacity and have

served the families here. I see so

much need and would be grateful

to serve from this perspective.”

What do you see as the main functions

of a school board?

“To serve along side administrators

and staff, providing objective

oversight, establishing

strong policies, and supporting

the district by leading our schools

and their teams with an attitude

of service.”

What are your top priorities for the

school board?

“Commitment to supporting

quality education in Wayne

Township through the following:

listening, supporting and

defending students and staff,

making critical decisions, and encouraging

consensus to address

students’ needs while building

strong policies.”

What do you see as the schools board

main responsibility to the citizens in its


“To own and professionally

carry out the responsibility they

have to the students, staff, and

board, and to not use the position

for personal gain, and to continue

to serve the township with integrity.

If elected, what will be some of your

main goals as a board member?

“Commitment to supporting

quality education in Wayne


“With a lifetime of education

experience and resources that

include parents who are retired

administrators and principals, a

sister who is currently a superintendent

of schools, and other

family who are in the field, “education”

has been a life-long experience

and commitment to supporting

children as students. I

am proud to say that in my role as

co-founder of a nonprofit in the

Wayne Township neighborhood

of Mars Hill, we work closely

with the schools in our area

to help augment the students’

learning experience through art

and activities.

“As a former Human Resources

Executive in the Wayne Township

school district, and VP of

HR overseeing a staff of corporate

personnel, many of whom were

Mars Hill residents, I understand

the value of listening with an

open mind and open heart to the

needs of such a community. Listening

as a board member to the

needs of the administration, the

needs of the teachers and support

staff, and the needs of the

students will be a priority.”

Audrey Strecker

Audrey Strecker has a decade

of teaching experience in Indiana

and volunteer work in Warren

Township schools. She is transitioning

to retirement from teaching

and works as a representative

to assist families in locating their

missing pets.

What motivated you to run for a spot

on the Wayne Township school board?

“I come from a military family

that taught me how important it

is to serve the community. I also

learned the value of volunteer

work during my time as a high

school student in Indiana. It is extremely

important to me to help

and support my community and

I have directed my background

in education to actively advocate

for the education and well-being

of all children and adolescents.

What are your top priorities for school


My top priorities are; to give

our children the best possible education

by continuing and adding

to the policies enacted by the

school board and administration;

to clarify legislation to the com-

munity, to communicate with

families and tax payers to give

them more input

regarding the decisions

made by

the school board,

and to introduce

video streaming

to school board

meetings to provide

greater understanding

of the issues facing

the community.”

What do you see as the board’s main

responsibility to the citizens in its township?

“The board’s main responsibility

is to lay the foundation for

and to provide an excellent education

while balancing the education

budget. Citizens of Wayne

Township must be able to trust

that their property taxes are efficiently

used to build research

based educational opportunities

via multiple ways of learning that

will benefit all our students.”

If elected, what will be some of your

main goals as a board member?

“My main goal is to ensure

all of our students are receiving

and benefiting from an excellent

education. Beyond this, I plan to

measurably increase communication

between the community and

the school board.

“By implementing live video

streaming of board meetings, I

hope to markedly increase access

to the school board, expand

community involvement, and

heighten community awareness

of important issues.

“Furthermore, I hope to personally

engage with the Wayne

Township community and sincerely

listen to concerns with

the goal of utilizing this input to

make the best possible decisions

for our schools.

Finally, I cannot stress enough

how much I care about the wellness

and safety of students and

their families. I have first-hand

experience dealing with potential

threats students face. My goals in

regard to this are to proactively

focus on a platform to eradicate

bullying from our schools as

well as to propose and promote

policies that place the health and

physical safety of students, their

teachers, and their families at

the forefront of the school board


12 Spotlight Ben Davis High School Indianapolis, IN October 27, 2020

Sports, politics do mix

These athletes forged a successful career in the political world

By Zion Brown

sports editor

Throughout the history of

sports, there have been a

surpisingly large number

of sports figures who have gone

on to have a career in politics.

Here are some examples.

Tom Osborne

Tom Osborne grew up in Nebraska

and played quarterback

at Hastings

College in Nebraska.

He then

played in the

NFL for Washington

in 1960

and 1961. Osborne

pursued a

career in coaching

and was

the head coach for the Nebraska

Cornhuskers from 1973-1997,

winning three national championships.

After retiring, Osborne

served three terms in Nebraska’s

House of Representatives from


Anthony Gonzalez

Anthony Gonzalez was the

Colts first-round draft pick in

2007 out of Ohio State. He played

for the Colts from 2007-2011,

catching seven touchdowns in

his career. In 2018, Gonzalez was

elected into Ohio’s House of Representatives

and he took office in

January 2019.

Alan Page

Alan Page was the Minnesota

Vikings first-round draft pick in

1967. In the 70s, Page was a member

of the Vikings famed defense,

the “Purple People Eaters.” Page

made nine straight Pro Bowls

from 1968-1976 and is a member

of the Pro Football Hall of Fame.

In 1992, he was elected as Associate

Justice of the Minnesota Supreme

Court, a role he served in

until 2015.

Steve Largent

As a wide receiver out of Tulsa,

Steve Largent played 14 seasons

for the Seattle Seahawks from

1976-1989. Largent made seven

Pro Bowls in that time and he was

inducted into the Pro Football

Hall of Fame in 1995. Following

his retirement, Largent served in

Oklahoma’s House of Representatives

from 1994-2002.

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy went to Harvard,

where he was on the swim

team. His backstroke performance

played a role in one of the

best freshman teams in school

history. Kennedy earned his letter

in his senior year. After college,

JFK began a career in politics. He

was a member of Massachusetts’

House of Representatives from

1947-1953. But immediately after

that, he joined the state’s Senate,

which he was a member of from


Kennedy then ran for U.S.

President in 1960. JFK received

303 electoral votes and won the

election over Richard Nixon,

who became president two terms

later. Due to his assassination in

November 1963, John F. Kennedy

only served one term as president.

George H.W. Bush

At Yale, George H.W. Bush

was a first baseman and team

captain. Bush, a lefty, helped lead

the Bulldogs to the first two College

World Series in 1947 and

1948. Yale lost both series. After

college, Bush spent about 15 years

as a businessman, working in oil.

In the early 1960s Bush began

working in politics. He had several

roles including directing the

CIA, being a U.S. ambassador,

and being in the House of Representatives.

From 1981-1989, he

was the U.S. Vice President for

Ronald Reagan. At the end of

Reagan’s second term, Bush ran

for office and became the 41st

President of the United States.

While in office, Bush kept his

college mitt in the drawer of his

White House desk. He frequently

attended Houston Astros games

before his death on November 30,


Gerald Ford

Gerald Ford attended Michigan

from 1931 to 1935, where the

football team won back-to-back

national championships in 1932

and 1933. Ford was awarded

Michigan’s Most Valuable Player

Award in his senior season. After

turning down offers from the Detroit

Lions and Green Bay Packers,

he began pursuing a law degree

from Yale.

Ford was in Michigan’s House

of Representatives from 1949-

1973. He followed that by being

Richard Nixon’s vice president.

When Nixon resigned, Ford consequently

took over as America’s

38th President for the remainder

of the term.

Dwight Eisenhower

Dwight Eisenhower played

football at Army in 1911 and 1912.

Eisenhower went both ways,

playing running back and linebacker.

He tackled Pro Football

Hall of Famer Jim Thorpe in his

time as West Point. Following his

graduation, Eisenhower fought

for America in both World Wars.

In 1948, Dwight Eisenhower

considered running for president

but at the time he believed

that “life-long professional soldiers”

should not run for office.

Eisenhower then had a change

of heart, and he ran for president

in 1952. Eisenhower had two of

the most lopsided U.S. victories

of all-time, winning 83.2% of the

electoral votes in 1952 and 86.1%

in 1956.

Tommy Tuberville

Tommy Tuberville played college

football at Southern Arkansas

from 1972-1975. Following

college, he began a coaching career.

From 1995-2016, Tuberville

was a head coach in college

football for Mississippi, Auburn,

Texas Tech, and Cincinnati. Tuberville

won two conference

championships and had a 7-6

record in bowl games. In August

2018, he moved to Alabama and

in April 2019 he announced he

would run for the state’s Senate.

Tuberville, a Republican, will run

against Democrat Doug Jones for

the Senate seat.

Bill Bradley

Bill Bradley played 11 years

in the NBA for the New York

Knicks, winning two NBA championships

in 1970 and 1973. He

was an All-Star in 1973 and in

1983 he was inducted into the

Basketball Hall of Fame. Bradley

became a Senator in New Jersey

from 1979-1997. In 2000, he ran

for U.S. President, but he fell

short in the primaries.


number of presidents were outstanding

collegiate athletes before

they turned their attention to

politicis. George H.W. Bush (top

left) was a standout baseball player

at Yale. Dwight Eisenhower (top

right) played football for Army in

1911 and 1912. Gerald Ford (middle)

won back-to-back national championships

while playing football at the

University of Michigan. Ford was

named most valuable player of the

team his senior year. John Kennedy

(left) was on the swim team at Harvard

before turning his attention to

politics. A number of presidents also

have been avid golfers while in the

White House.

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