With the July 1 deadline of Ball State’s official takeover of Muncie Community Schools quickly approaching, dozens of community members gathered to hear from school board finalists. 

The public forum, which was live streamed took place at Muncie Central High School Tuesday night.

RELATED: Ball State Board of Trustees votes to assume responsibility of MCS

Each of the finalists had 90 seconds to answer each of the following questions: 

  • We want you to share with us one idea that will transform our schools into a thriving school system.
  • If you were to speak directly to a family who has left the Muncie Community Schools, what you say to encourage them tonight to come home and enroll their children into Muncie Community Schools this upcoming year?

Of the 16 Ball State employees who were in the original pool of 88 applicants, two were selected as finalists — Brittany Bales and Jim Lowe. 

RELATED: 16 Ball State employees apply to be on Muncie School Board

The following are the 16 finalists selected by Ball State:

  • Brittany Bales, Muncie, instructor of special education at Ball State
  • Adam Bouse, Muncie, communcations strategist at Fishhook Inc.
  • Tammy Dodson, Muncie, residential operations manager at Meridian Health Services
  • Mark Ervin, Selma, attorney/partner at Beasley & Gillkison LLP
  • Stacee Fischer Gehring, Muncie, minister at High Street United Methodist Church
  • David Heeter, Muncie, CEO at Mutual Bank
  • Cliff Johnson, Muncie, senior sales rep and digital closer at American Marketing & Publishing, Indy North Region
  • James Lowe, Muncie, Associate Vice President Facilities Planning and Management at Ball State
  • Lori Mathis, Muncie, health care administration at Meridian Health Services 
  • Denise Millben, Muncie, pastor at Christ Temple Global Ministries 
  • Andre Mitchell, Muncie, pastor at Deliverance Temple & General Motors
  • Keith O’Neal, Muncie, pastor, Destiny Christian Center International Church 
  • Kathie Onieal, Muncie, investments at Katherine Onieal Investment Services/Raymond James Financial Services 
  • Frank Scott, Muncie, finance manager at Kidz Korner Child Care Center 
  • Daniel Willaert, Muncie, senior tax consultant at DuCharme, McMillen & Associates, Inc. 
  • James Williams, Muncie, lawyer at Defur Voran

Five of the seven school board members will be appointed by the Ball State Board of Trustees, and the other two will be appointed by President Geoffrey Mearns base off selections from Muncie Mayor Dennis Tyler and Muncie City Council. 

“Our responsibility is to send the most talented, experienced and accomplished group of people who represent the diverse perspectives of the Muncie Community Schools,” Mearns said. 

The Ball State Board of Trustees will meet June 25 to appoint the new school board members. The new members will take office on July 1. 

Contact Andrew Smith with comments at ajsmith15@bsu.edu or on Twitter @AndrewSmithNews.