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Jan Scholtz Seeks to Fill Debbie Wesslund's Jefferson County School Board Seat

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 The ballot for the Jefferson County Board of Education's 3rd District election is beginning to take shape.Jan Scholtz, a Louisville realtor, will seek to fill Debbie Wesslund’s seat. Wesslund announced earlier this year she would not be seeking reelection.Related: Debbie Wesslund Won't Run Again for Jefferson County Board of EducationAttorney Stephanie Horne is also seeking election to the 3rd district seat.  She announced her intention to run in March.  Three other school board seats will be up for election this fall in the1st, 5th and 6th districts,though no none has openly offered to challenge incumbents Diane Porter, Linda Duncan and Carol Ann Haddad.The 3rd district covers northeastern Jefferson County, but Scholtz told WFPL she will look to fix the “huge problem” of academic disparity that stretches across the county.“You can’t have the best performing school and the lowest performing school,” she said.  “We have got to get down and figure out what to do.”She said she would also like to see more parental engagement and improved communication from the school district about what options are available for educating students.“This system is very overwhelming,” she said.A high priority concern for Scholtz is the district’s budget.“I think they are going to have to develop new ways of figuring out how to develop the budget and figure out new ways on how to allocate money for student achievement,” she said.Scholtz said she agrees with the current school board’s recommendation that JCPS superintendent Donna Hargens should be more communicative, but also applauded the superintendent's work thus far.“I think she is a very good listener and she has a great academic record, I think we should continue to see where she can take us,” she said.Scholtz said she was “not as educated as I should be” on charter school policies, but the concept is something Scholtz said sounds “fabulous.”However, she said she was not impressed with national test scores of charter school students when compared to public schools.Scholtz said she will be spending the next few months educating herself on issues surrounding public schools.“This is the time right now where I am trying to make appointments with people that I think are more knowledgeable than I am,” she said.  “Every time I talk to someone I learn something new.” She said she plans on spending no more than $10,000 during her campaign.  For comparison, Debbie Wesslund said she spent nearly $18,000 during her last campaign.Wesslund told WFPL she has endorsed Horne for her “positive energy” and her “commitment to public schools.”“I think there is often competition in elections and I think it will shine a light on why (Horne) is a good choice to serve on our board,” Wesslund said.Scholtz is a graduate of Waggener High School and earned a bachelor's degree from the University of Louisville.

Jacob Ryan is an award-winning investigative reporter who joined LPM in 2014. Email Jacob at jryan@lpm.org.