A newcomer with roots in New Jersey and a longtime resident appointed to the Indian River school board last summer are vying for a five-year seat on the board.
Paulette Rappa of Long Neck and Leolga Wright of Millsboro are running in the district's only contested race. Running unopposed are James Fritz and Shawn Fink, each for a two-year seat, and Rodney Layfield for a five-year seat.
Rappa has a bachelor's degree in communications with a teaching certificate from Glassboro State University, and she earned a master's degree in educational psychology from Cappella University. She works with at-risk students in Camden, N.J., commuting twice a week. She and her husband, William Doll, moved to Long Neck permanently in 2012. She has a son in fifth-grade at Long Neck Elementary, three grown children and four grown step-children.
Rappa is president of the Long Neck PTO and said running for school board is a great way for her to stay involved with her child's education.
"I've always had a passion for education," she said. "Delaware is right there with models of education that will be used throughout the country."
Incumbent Leolga Wright is a lifelong resident of Sussex County who graduated from Sussex Central High School. She is a retired federal employee who worked for the USDA Farm Service Agency in Georgetown for 33 years, taking management courses to enhance her position.
She is a life member of the Indian River Fire Co. and auxiliary, a member of the Indian Mission Church, member of the Nanticoke Indian Tribe and volunteers for Meals on Wheels.
She is married to Dallas Wright, and her son graduated from Sussex Central High School in 2008. With plenty of nieces, nephews and friends in the area, Wright said she wants to make sure the district offers the best education possible for students.
She said she is particularly pleased with the full-day kindergarten the school district will offer in the fall.
"It's been a learning experience," she said. "I would like to see the full-day kindergarten come full circle."
Indian River School District voters will go to the polls 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. May 14 at Long Neck Elementary and East Millsboro Elementary schools.