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Shepard To Challenge Wichita School Board President For Seat After Primary Win

Jordan Kirtley / Stephan Bisaha

Joseph Shepard and Sheril Logan will face off for the at-large position on the Wichita school board after they received the most votes during Tuesday's primary.

Shepard finished on top with 32.2 percent of the vote. He worked for the Kansas Leadership Center before Newman University hired him last year as its director of multicultural engagement and campus life.

Shepard earned a master's degree in public administration from Wichita State University in 2018.

He said one of the reasons he's running is to better help students who have faced trauma. 

"We have got to get from addressing the why are our students ... acting out to how do we help our children heal," Shepard said. 

Board president Sheril Logan received 30.7 percent of the vote. She was first elected in 2011, making her the board's longest serving member. She also was the board's president in 2015 and 2017.

Before retiring, she was the assistant dean for the College of Education at WSU, an assistant superintendent for Wichita Public Schools and an elementary school principal.

"I want to use my educational talent and expertise to help move this district so that we're good for every kid who walks in our doors," Logan said. 

Trish Hileman, a member of the Wichita Transit Advisory Board, received 24.9 percent. The remaining 12.2 percent went to Brent Davis, the president of a local tutoring company. 

Unlike other seats for the Wichita school board, candidates running for the at-large seat don't have to live in a specific district.

One of the biggest issues the board is currently considering is whether or not to update the district's nondiscrimination policies to explicitly include transgender students. Logan asked superintendent Alicia Thompson to put together a report on the district's current policies. That board is expected to take further action based on that report this month.

Voters will make a final choice between Shepard and Logan on election night, Nov. 5th.

The District 4 seat will also be on the ballot. Incumbent Stan Reeser will run against James Kilpatrick.

Current board member Ernestine Krehbiel is running unopposed for her District 3 seat.

Here are the unofficial primary results:

  • Joseph W. Shepard | 5,173 votes (32.7%)
  • Sheril Logan | 4,733 votes (29.9%)
  • Trish Hileman | 3,913 votes (24.7%)
  • Brent T. Davis | 2,012 votes (12.7%)

Follow Stephan Bisaha on Twitter @SteveBisaha or email bisaha@kmuw.org.