Hamilton wins Clawson school board write-in race

By: Sarah Wojcik | Royal Oak Review | Published December 19, 2020




CLAWSON — Angela Hamilton clinched the third four-year term on the Clawson Public Schools Board of Education as verified by Oakland County elections officials in November.

The race for three four-year terms on the Clawson school board was a topic of interest, with two incumbents running for reelection and no other names on the ballot. Voters reelected President Kimberley Carlesimo and Secretary Michael Frink, and county officials later announced the results of the write-in race between three candidates.

In October, Hamilton, Matthew Ball and BT Irwin filed as write-in candidates. Hamilton won with 353 votes — Irwin received 244 votes and Ball received 159 votes.

During the Dec. 7 board meeting, Clawson Public Schools Human Resources Manager Linda Gould administered the oath of office to Carlesimo, Frink and Hamilton, whose terms will begin Jan. 1.

Trustee Jessica Back, who served on the board for nine years, opted not to run for reelection. Her term will expire Dec. 31, and her last regular board meeting was Dec. 14.

In a prior interview with C & G Newspapers, Back said she decided that it was time for her to move on and let other people serve because her family is growing and getting older.

She said that underfunding has been “devastating” for public schools and that, while she enjoyed her role, it was “very hard.”

During the virtual Dec. 14 board meeting, Back thanked the board and said it was an honor and a privilege to serve the district.

“I’ve worked with — I can’t even count the number of board members and three superintendents, so I really have appreciated this time and the support,” she said. “I have full faith that I’m leaving the board in good hands and you guys are going to do a great job moving forward.”

District 16 County Commissioner Penny Luebs, D-Clawson, read a proclamation of recognition during the Dec. 14 board meeting to commemorate Back’s service, which included three years as secretary, two years as president, one year as vice president and participation in several committees.

Luebs highlighted Back’s advocacy for STEM — or science, technology, engineering and mathematics — curriculum, competitiveness among graduates and the performing arts.

“(Back) is going to be missed. She’s done a great job. I appreciate all the work she’s done,” Superintendent Tim Wilson said in a prior interview. “She’s had a lot of great insight, a lot of great questions, a lot of great thoughts and has been a great asset to our school board.”

Hamilton, a 14-year resident of Clawson, has three children in the district. She has volunteered for the Kenwood Elementary School PTO and Christmas in Clawson, coached Girls on the Run through the YMCA, and served as a Girl Scouts leader.

“I know all parts of education matter — from the teachers, to the curriculum, to the leadership, to the funding, and so much more,” she said in a statement to C & G Newspapers prior to the election. “I would like to be a part of the school board to make sure all parts of the education bubble are being utilized to their fullest and in the best possible way to help Clawson schools flourish.”

An insurance and documentation specialist with Wright & Filippis, Hamilton said she is able to work from home due to the pandemic, so her schedule is more flexible to allow her to take on the role of a school board member.

Hamilton did not respond to requests for comment by press time.

The terms of Vice President Andrea Hodges, Treasurer Ted Verner and Trustees Thomas Reed and Kimberly Zarnick will expire Dec. 31, 2022.

Next year, the district intends to go for a bond, steered by a bond committee consisting of 40-50 people — including school officials, parents, city employees, business owners, stakeholders and members of the public — to make decisions, including how to best utilize district buildings.

“We’re hoping to reinvent our district,” Wilson said in a prior interview. “We’ve got some exciting stuff going on.”

For more information, visit clawsonschools.org or call (248) 655-4400.