School board candidates run unopposed

Katie Phillips

Candidates vying for seats on the Kent City School District Board of Education are running unopposed in a non-partisan general election Tuesday.

Ryan Ferrara, John J. Flynn, Brian K. Boykin and are running for the three open seats, which require four-year terms.

This election is a first for Ferrara, a market development manager for Eastman Chemical Company. Both of the other candidates have school board experience. Flynn, an attorney specializing in state-planning, probate and real estate, served 16 years on the Kent School Board prior to the upcoming election. Boykin, assistant director of Portage County Job and Family Services, will begin his fourth term after elections.

Running unchallenged for a position on the Kent City School District Board of Education is unusual, Boykin said.

“This is the first time I’ve ran unopposed in the three times I’ve ran previously,” he said.

In recent years, the Kent school system has demonstrated its ability to help build a middle school and renovate an elementary school, Boykin said. Academics and building maintenance have improved as well.

“I think academically we’ve been able to perform well,” Boykin said. “I think our physical plant, or our buildings, have been maintained tremendously.”

Boykin said his next-term goals include maintaining a continued effort with administration to provide quality education and ensure fiscal accountability.

Having adequate funding is a main goal for Flynn in his next term, too.

“Certainly the funding of education is a major issue that seems to never go away,” he said.

Regardless of funds, the school board hopes to see constant improvement in schools in the Kent area, Flynn said.

“Kent has always traditionally had a very good school system,” he said. “You’re always trying to make it better. You hope to graduate a better-prepared student for college or the work force.”

Ferrara said his first goal on school board is supporting objectives from an already successful administration.

“Programs that Kent schools offer are significantly better than most other school systems I’ve been exposed to,” he said. “There’s a wide range of curriculum option, as well as extracurricular activities.”

There are about 4,000 students in the Kent school district, according to the Kent Board of Education.

Contact public affairs reporter Katie Phillips at [email protected].