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/ Registration is required.

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/, 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         

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 – register here.