A second candidate has announced that she will run for a seat on the Madison School Board this spring.
Ananda Mirilli, who first ran for School Board in 2013, filed paperwork with the city clerk’s office Wednesday announcing she will run for Seat 5, which is currently held by TJ Mertz.
District parent and former School Board candidate Cris Carusi recently announced she is running for Seat 3 this spring.
Mirilli finished third in the 2013 primary for Madison School Board, while Mertz and Sarah Manski advanced to the general election. Manski, however, abruptly withdrew from the race, clearing the way for Mertz.
Mertz, as well as fellow School Board members James Howard, Seat 4, and Dean Loumos, Seat 3, all ran unopposed in 2016 and are up for re-election this spring.
With Carusi and Mirilli now in the race, two of the incumbents will now have a challenger.
Mertz declined to comment when asked about the campaign announcement.
Mirilli said that she is running again to help address the achievement and opportunity gap, as well as school safety.
Mirilli has a child who is a sophomore at La Follette High School. She said her child has often texted her about various lockdowns happening at the school.
The La Follette community has faced a string of safety-related incidents this year. MMSD added another administrator to the school's leadership last month who will be on assignment there until the end of June 2019.
“My life work has been about actively addressing violence in our schools while at the same time addressing racial disparities,” Mirilli said. “It was important five years ago when I ran, and now is even more relevant.”
Mirilli pointed to her experience, which includes stints at YWCA of Dane County, the Madison School District and now as an education equity consultant at the Department of Public Instruction, as key to her feeling ready to run for School Board again.
“I have been a parent leader, I have been an MMSD staff [member], I work for DPI and am ready to serve on the Madison School Board” Mirilli said. “I’m ready to also directly inform policies and practices to address the disparities we are experiencing.”
Mirilli said her campaign will hold a fundraiser next week alongside an official campaign launch.
The seven-person School Board’s members serve three-year terms.
Candidates were able to circulate nomination papers starting Dec. 1. The deadline to file to run for School Board is Jan. 2, 2019.