Three candidates vie for school board seats in District 5

Date Published: 
March 21, 2014

Residents can help choose the future of the Indian River School District this May, as three contenders have stepped forward, hoping to fill two seats on the school board. Incumbents W. Scott Collins and Doug Hudson and challenger Bobbi Barends all hope to represent District 5 (Selbyville, Gumboro and west Frankford).

Barends said her school board experience began in 11th grade, as a student representative to the board, and later as a regular school board member in the Lower Dauphin School District near Hershey, Pa.

Now working as dean of instruction at Delaware Technical Community College, Barends said, “I enjoy the opportunity to really be involved in decisions about education. The timing is kind of right now. I think there are a lot of exciting changes going on right now in education.”

As the parent of a recent Indian River High School graduate and a daughter in eighth grade, Barends said, “I think it’s a great district” and that she hopes to serve children at all levels of the population.

Police chief in Selbyville, Collins in the last three years has gotten into the swing of being on the school board, too.

“I think the makeup of the board is good. I want to keep in the direction that we’ve put ourselves on,” he said, including school safety, full-day kindergarten, STEM and International Baccalaureate and other programs. He said he looks forward to seeing construction completed at seven district schools.

“In the last three years, we have done quite a bit. I’m … proud of what we’ve done,” he said.

Collins has also taken an active part in policy making, leading the Policy Committee and beginning a revamp of the entire district handbook.

Hudson is also interested in the new building additions.

“The public entrusted us with a referendum to do this, and I want to make sure we give the public 100 percent what we promised them.”

An IR grad and parent, Hudson is a Delmarva Power engineering fieldsman and Selbyville Volunteer Fire Company member.

“That’s why I do school board. I believe in giving back to the community you live in,” he said.

“It takes two or three years to really get comfortable and get your feet wet. That’s why I’ve been so active,” said Hudson, who has been involved in his first term on the board with athletic field oversight, Project VILLAGE, the Delaware School Board Association and more.

There is no contest this year for seats representing District 3 and District 5. Nina Lou Bunting in District 3 (Millsboro) and Donald Hattier in District 4 (Millville, Bethany Beach and Fenwick) were unopposed.

Voting in the election for District 5 residents is Tuesday, May 13, at Selbyville Middle School. Terms begin on July 1 and now last five years.

For more information, contact the Sussex County Department of Elections in Georgetown, call (302) 856-5367, or visit