Southwest Allen board member resigns; parent launches campaign

Southwest Allen County Schools
Southwest Allen County Schools(WPTA)
Published: Nov. 2, 2021 at 8:52 AM EDT
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FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WPTA) - Southwest Allen County School Trustee Tom Rhoades is resigning because he’s moving away from the district, which leaves a seat open.

Amanda Tokos is hoping to be elected to the board next year. She’s a self proclaimed “mama bear” and says she doesn’t like mask mandates.

“It was not my original intention to run for school board, but I think there’s a need,” Tokos said. “We should have the right to exercise certain freedoms that we think are in our best interest, but I’m not going to get into the data and the statistics.”

Doctors and public health officials agree that masks work to reduce the spread of COVID-19 in the classroom. That fact doesn’t make everyone happy. The outgoing member Tom Rhoades knows about that.

“Our parents have had opportunities to speak, to give us their opinions and their thoughts,” Rhoades said.

Rhoades has served SACS since 2014 and at times has served as President and Vice President. The decision to step away comes as Rhoades and his family are set to move outside the district.

“This has been a process that my wife and I have been looking at for over a year of when is the right time to list this home,” Rhoades said.

News of his resignation came as a surprise for Tokos.

“For me it was a little bit of a shock,” Tokos said. “It did seem abrupt, but I’m sure he has his reasons and I appreciate his service being on the board.”

Tokos says she hopes she can do what’s best for the children.

“Definitely going to be focused on listening to the parents, getting that transparency and ensuring that our children are getting the best education that they possibly can,” Tokos said.

Rhoades’ seat needs to be filled soon. You can apply to finish his term if you live in Aboite Township. The deadline is November 16.

Tokos said she has no plans to try to take that seat immediately, instead waiting until next year’s election.

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