Akron School Board Candidates Debate to be held on Oct. 17

All candidates on the ballot for the 2023 Akron School Board have been invited to participate in a 90-minute debate October 17 produced by the Akron Press Club. The debate is co-sponsored by the Akron Beacon Journal/BeaconJournal.com.

Eight candidates have filed for three open seats on the board. The candidates are Patrick Bravo, Gwen Bryant, Summer L. Hall, Myron J. Lewis, Keith Mills, Rene Molenaur, Phil Montgomery and Barbara Sykes.

The Akron School Board recently hired C. Michael Robinson Jr. as superintendent. The district’s previous leader, Christine Fowler Mack, resigned after nearly a year of a difficult relationship with the board.

The 20,000-student district needs to cut $15 million and pass an operating levy within the next year to achieve optimal financial sustainability. That represents 4 percent of the district’s budget. The administration is not currently proposing a specific slate of cuts.

The debate will be moderated by Michael Shearer, editor Akron Beacon Journal/BeaconJournal.com, regional editor northern Ohio – USA TODAY Network and a Press Club board member. A panel of journalists will ask questions of the candidates.

The public is invited to submit questions for the candidates. Send your questions to akronpressclub@gmail.com.         

The debate will begin promptly at noon, Tuesday, October 17, at Quaker Station, 135 S. Broadway. Doors for the luncheon event will open at 11 a.m. Cost is $35. Free seating is available for those who do not wish to pay for lunch. Reservations are required.

Program: Akron School Board debate

Date: Tuesday, October 17, 2023

Time: Doors open at 11 a.m. for buffet luncheon. Debate begins at noon.    

Place: Quaker Station, 135 S. Broadway, Akron, Ohio.

Cost: $35 per individual. $280 for table of 8

Fast and easy online registration here!

Or contact Leah Nemeth, Press Club administrator, at akronpressclub@gmail.com.

Check only accepted day of event.

Reservation deadline: Noon, Friday, October 12, 2023.

Cancellations: Cancellation requests must be received no later than 48 hours before the event. After that time, there will be no refunds and an invoice will be issued for payment.

Additional seating will be made available free to members of the public who wish to see the debate, but not pay for a lunch. Reservations are required.

Proceeds from Akron Press Club events fund scholarships for journalism and public relations students. Between the Press Club and the John S. Knight Memorial Scholarship Fund, scholarships of $5,000 were awarded to 10 students in 2023. The Press Club sincerely thanks Summit County, Dr. Aileen Thong, Elizabeth Bartz and FirstEnergy for their donations to the scholarship fund.

The Akron Press Club was founded in 1971 to promote a free press and serve local journalists and public relations professionals.