Attorney with passion for education joins Carmel school board race


Kristina Wheeler works as an attorney, but she comes from a long line of teachers and earned an undergraduate degree in elementary education.

She believes her professional background and various ties to educators make her a good fit for the Carmel Clay Schools board of trustees. She is among four candidates running for two at-large seats on the board in the Nov. 5 general election.

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“Having grown up in a family of teachers, I’m really passionate about supporting public education and helping our community move forward,” Wheeler said. “We’ve got a great school district. I want to see that grow and continue.”

Wheeler said her campaign will focus on three issues: Continued school board use of taxpayer funds in a transparent and responsible manner; encouragement of parental involvement in schools; and a sustained focus on school safety.

She acknowledged that not every parent has the flexibility to be as involved with the schools as they would like, and she is proposing the creation of a parent resource center to streamline communication between CCS and families.

“It would be a single point of contact for parents with questions or concerns about CCS,” she said. “It could aid with all different kinds of things, like registration information for people who have just moved, counseling and tutoring resources, special services for kids with learning differences and disabilities, as well as general questions.”

With the school safety referendum set to expire in 2027, Wheeler said she would like to see much of what it funds – such as some school resource officer positions and counseling services – become part of the district’s permanent budget.

Wheeler has lived in Carmel for 18 years. Her older daughter graduated from Carmel High School in 2022 and is a student at Butler University, and her younger daughter will be a freshman at CHS in the fall. Both girls have attended CCS since kindergarten, and over the years Wheeler has been involved in PTO boards at her daughters’ schools. She is currently serving as vice president of the Carmel Education Foundation board (a position she said she’ll relinquish if elected).

As an attorney, Wheeler specializes in public renewable energy projects and is the immediate past president of the Indiana Bar Association Utility Law Section. She said she has worked extensively with clients of both major political parties to address difficult issues.

“One of the things I see happening at our school board level is a lot of divisiveness, and I want to use the skills that I’ve honed as an attorney, particularly in my work with elected officials and local governments, to bring people together and help find solutions,” Wheeler said.

She is also a volunteer with Habitat for Humanity.

Wheeler’s campaign website is not yet active, but anyone wanting to learn more about her campaign may reach her at [email protected].

Other candidates for school board are Robin L. Clark, Dina Ferchmin and Jon Shapiro. Incumbents Katie Browning and Louise Jackson are not seeking reelection.