Janet Maull-Martin seeks re-election to Cape school board

Incumbent represents Area C; election set May 14
February 27, 2024

Cape Henlopen school board member Janet Maull-Martin has filed to run in the Tuesday, May 14 election.

First elected in 2019, Maull-Martin represents Area C, which encompasses the greater Lewes area. Maull-Martin said she wants to continue serving as an advocate for students, staff and the community.

“I think I can make a difference,” she said. “My voice can make a difference.”

Current projects need to be seen through to completion, she said, such as making sure the under-construction Frederick D. Thomas Middle School in Lewes is as successful as every other school in the district. The school is set to open in Lewes for the 2024-25 school year.

“That’s very dear to my heart,” she said.

As a child, Maull-Martin attended the segregated DuPont Avenue School in Lewes where Thomas was principal. In 2022, the school board voted unanimously to name the district’s newest middle school after Thomas, the district’s first African American administrator. 

The district comprises great teachers and administrators who care about kids and want what’s best for them, Maull-Martin said, but challenges exist.

One of the biggest is managing enrollment growth, she said, which has necessitated the upcoming March 26 referendum, the district’s first since 2018. A planned 2020 referendum was canceled due to the pandemic.

“Since then, you can see the growth,” she said. “It’s exploding, and it’s not going to stop. There are more scholars coming, and we have to make room for them. Hopefully, the referendum will pass. I am very thankful for our community. They have been with us, and supportive of us, and we appreciate that.”

Even if residents have no children or grandchildren in Cape schools, Maull-Martin said they should still vote in favor of the referendum.

“Think about what you want your community to look like,” she said. “It will make it so much easier for us to do what we need to do for our scholars so they can come back into the community and be good citizens.”

To maximize opportunities so every student can succeed, extra support and funding is needed, Maull-Martin said. During her 2019 campaign, Maull-Martin first spoke in favor of school impact fees after learning these assessments were applied to developers in New Castle and Kent counties.

“I knew then we would be in this position with so many more developments and students coming, and we need to be able to accommodate them,” she said. “If New Castle and Kent have it and are doing fine, why can’t we have an impact fee here? If we did, maybe we wouldn’t have to go to referendum because the money would be there for our scholars.”

Despite requests from all Sussex school districts to enact a school assessment for new development, Sussex County Council members decided by consensus and not by a formal vote in January to not move forward with an ordinance to create a school impact fee.

Some developers do give back to the school district, which is appreciated, Maull-Martin said.

“But an impact fee would do so much more to help with expenditures,” she said, noting real estate agents tout Cape as the best school district in the state.

Maull-Martin said the board works well together to ensure decisions are made for the benefit of and to guide student success. Most members have backgrounds in education, she said, and all bring different perspectives to the table.

“We’re able to have discussions,” she said. “We don’t always agree, and we shouldn’t always agree. Everyone speaks their mind and feelings, and we can agree to disagree, and that’s a good thing.”

A member of the first graduating class of Cape Henlopen High School in 1970, Maull-Martin spent her entire educational career working within Cape schools, serving as a teacher, Title One coordinator, assistant principal and principal in more than 35 years with the district. She retired in 2014.

“If I didn’t believe in this district, I would’ve taken a position elsewhere,” she said. “It was never a job. I saw it as my calling.”

As a teacher, Maull-Martin coached field hockey, basketball, softball and the cheerleading squad. The 1985 district teacher of the year, Maull-Martin was also inducted into the Legends Stadium Ring of Honor in 2022.

Maull-Martin holds a bachelor’s degree in elementary education and a master’s degree in curriculum and instruction. She is pastor of Prospect AME Church in Georgetown.

She and her husband Gavin Martin live in Lewes; she is the mother of Cape High teacher JD Maull and grandmother of Cape High student Jaidyn Maull.

About the election

The at-large seat held by school board President Alison Myers is also up for election; Myers filed to run Jan. 3. 

Individuals seeking election are not considered qualified candidates until they file a completed, notarized filing form accepted by the Department of Elections. The state election commissioner must determine an individual is qualified under state code regarding criminal background and Delaware Child Protection Registry checks and under citizenship and residency requirements.

The four-year terms go into effect in July 2024 and expire June 30, 2028. Area C candidates must reside in Area C, but all eligible voters aged 18 and up who reside anywhere in the Cape Henlopen School District can vote. Registration is not required; just bring identification and proof of residency in the district.

The filing deadline for candidates is 4:30 p.m., Friday, March 1, and the election is set for Tuesday, May 14. For candidate and voter information, go to


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