Flint, MI— Twelve candidates competed for three open spots on the Flint Schools Board of Education, and according to unofficial polling results, Joyce Ellis-McNeal, Anita M. Moore and Laura Gillespie MacIntyre will serve as next year’s newest members. 

With President Casey Lester, Trustee Blake Strozier and Secretary Betty Ramsdell stepping down in December, the new board will be completely led by women.

“I think they all have a lot of passion and experience in regard to education and Flint. It’s exciting that it will be a completely female board and a female superintendent,” Lester said.

As of 3 p.m. Nov. 5, Ellis-McNeal secured 9.13% of the vote, Moore took 8.78% and MacIntyre came in third at 6.09%. 

Moore is the only of the three who was not raised in Flint. She grew up in North Carolina but moved to Flint after graduating high school. 

“I’ve worked in the Flint school district [and] many different platforms with many different organizations. And I have a real heart for the city of Flint, although I’m not a native. I launched my career here,” Moore said. 

She is not actively teaching at present but is coaching homeschoolers and their parents. 

Treasurer of Flint Schools Board of Education Danielle Green said she was a bit surprised by the election. “However, the community spoke and I’m in support of the election results,” Green said. 

Despite the surprises, Green said she believes an all-female board will bring a diverse perspective for Flint Schools. 

“I never worked on a board with all females. I believe we are mature enough to respect and accept each other’s differences that will ultimately make some positive changes for [Flint] students. My hope is we collectively work together for the greater good of our students who deserve a good education.” 

MacIntyre, a sociology lecturer at the University of Michigan-Flint, said she was not expecting to win but considers it an honor. 

“It’s a new day for Flint. It’s a new day for Flint schools,” she said “We’re not going to put up with the business as usual, that’s been happening in schools.” 

Lester advises the new members to understand the complexities of issues surrounding Flint Community Schools. 

“By and large, the issues facing FCS are not FCS issues. People say things like, ‘I’m disappointed in Flint Schools,’ when what they mean to say is, ‘I’m disappointed in Flint Schools’ funding, I’m disappointed in the legislative destruction of public education, I’m disappointed in society’s ability to allow education to be based on zip code.’ The problems they are going to face will not be solved with rushed decisions and a hammerhead approach.” Lester said. 

The new members will each serve six-year terms beginning on Jan. 1, 2021. 

Ellis-McNeal was contacted for comment but did not respond by press time.

Carmen Nesbitt is a journalist with diverse experience in news reporting and feature writing. She wrote for Hour Detroit and SEEN Magazine before joining the Flint Beat news team as an education and public...