Newcomers and Veterans Running for Vacancies in Pulaski County School Boards


The Pulaski County Special School District School Board is on track to have two new members following the November 2 annual election.

In the North Little Rock School District, four incumbents were the only people to apply for the four open seats at Wednesday’s close of the one-week filing deadline.

There are no contested races for seats on either of the two boards.

The election in the Pulaski County Special District is taking place at a time when the district has been released from federal court oversight in all areas of its operations except facilities.

Heather Smith of Sherwood, mother of two and owner of a salon, applied for the Pulaski County Special District Zone 3 position. She is the only candidate to run for the seat now held by school board president Linda Remele, who did not seek re-election.

Laurel Tait, 65, of West Pulaski County, was the only person to file during the week-long filing period for the other vacant board position, the Zone 7 seat, now held by Brian Maune .

Smith, 46, is the president of the parent-teacher association at Sylvan Hills Middle School where her daughter is in eighth grade. Smith and her husband Shane Smith, who is in trucking operations, also have a son who attends Little Rock Catholic High.

A 22-year owner of Studio H Salon at Lakewood House in North Little Rock, Smith said she attended Kindergarten to Grade 8 in the Special District of Pulaski County and graduated from Mount St. Mary’s. Academy in Little Rock. She attended the University of Central Arkansas for a while before going to cosmetology school and becoming a business owner.

“It’s an opportunity that I didn’t see coming,” Smith said Wednesday. “And I’m excited to step in to help teachers and help students with the school district as a parent.”

Tait – a mother of five, a 24-year-old grandmother and a podiatrist – filed Tuesday for the Zone 7 headquarters in the county district.

Married to Central Arkansas Veterans Health System physician John Tait, Laurel Tait said she studied at the University of South Florida and then attended the Pennsylvania College of Podiatric Medicine.

Among Tait’s children and grandchildren, a son and her five children live in the western area of ​​Pulaski County that Tait seeks to represent.

Maune, 40, said on Wednesday he decided not to run for office after being undecided earlier.

Remele, 70 and former deputy district superintendent, said, “It’s time to let others step in and help.”

Remele and Maune were elected in 2016 for five-year terms. They previously served on the district’s community advisory council at a time when the district was state-controlled and did not have an elected council.

The special terms of the Pulaski County Board of Directors are five years and unpaid. However, members of school boards across the state have been told that electoral zones will need to be adjusted after the release of U.S. census data and that all seats in districts with electoral zones are to be opened in 2022.

In North Little Rock, the seven-member board of directors will not see any new members after the November 2 election. The candidates for re-election are:

• Tracy Steele, 58, zone 2.

• Rochelle Redus, 56 years old, Zone 3.

• Temple Cindy, 60, zone 5.

• Natalie Wankum, 40, Zone 7.

North Little Rock terms last three years and are unpaid.

Elsewhere in Pulaski County, the Jacksonville / North Pulaski County School Board held an election in May.

The nine-member Little Rock School Board was elected in its entirety last November and December and will not have an election to the board until November 2022.

While there are no candidates on the ballot this year, the Little Rock board is expected to decide at an August 19 meeting whether to place a proposal on the November 2 ballot. extension of the property tax which, if approved, would assist the district in raising funds. for two new schools and campus improvements.


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