January 6, 2020 Media

Middle School Teacher Crystal Chappell Files for State House in District 15

An educator in Muhlenberg County has filed for the Kentucky House of Representatives.

Crystal Chappell submitted her paperwork to the Secretary of State and announced her Democratic candidacy for House District 15 on Thursday. District 15 includes all of Muhlenberg County and 15 precincts in Hopkins County.

Prior to traveling to Frankfort, Brent Yonts & Judge Bill Paxton signed the notification and declaration of Chappell’s candidacy.

“Brent Yonts and Judge Paxton have both served as representatives in our district in the past and have contributed greatly to our communities,” Chappell added. “It is such an honor for them to offer their encouragement, support, and blessings in this race.”

Judge Paxton acknowledged, “After watching Crystal Chappell work for many years in state and local politics, I have found her to be the rare advocate who can be faithful to her core beliefs while honestly and vigorously representing her constituency.”

Chappell has been teaching at the middle school level for the past 17 years. She earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Learning and Behavior Disorders from Murray State University and a Master of Arts Degree in Special Education Leadership from Indiana Wesleyan College.

“As a dedicated educator, I know what it means to serve my community. I am eager to take my service to the next level while working with Team Kentucky to create greater opportunities for all Kentuckians,” Chappell said in a news release.  “We need a legislative body that works in unison to ensure that your children have a quality public education, to protect your hard earned pensions and retirement, and to provide you with more good paying jobs with livable wages. As your representative, my primary goal is to lift up the citizens of District 15 and to be your advocate and voice in Frankfort.”

After an unsuccessful bid for state Senate in 2018, Chappell immediately set her sights on how she could move forward to make a positive impact in her community and began considering the office of state representative. After weeks of thoughtful prayers, deep reflection, and encouragement from individuals across the district and the state, she decided to run for the 15th House District.

Chappell is a resource teacher at Muhlenberg South Middle School, where she currently teaches seventh grade and has served as a teacher representative on the school’s site-based decision making council. Her husband, Shad, is a middle school teacher and member of the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 1701.

Over the past several years, Chappell has been preparing for the opportunity to represent her district. She is a 2017 graduate of Emerge Kentucky, a premiere training program that empowers Democratic women to pursue public office with a goal of enhancing government so that it is responsive to all Kentuckians.  Shortly after graduating from Emerge, the National Education Association chose 28 candidates from across the nation to be active participants in the “See Educators Run” Seminar in Dallas. Chappell was selected to train with a group of teachers that shared a common desire of driving change in their communities by running for office.

House Democratic Leader Joni Jenkins celebrated Chappell’s decision to run.

“Crystal is exactly the kind of candidate we need to represent District 15. She’s an extraordinary educator, has a passion for civic engagement, and is dedicated to the values of Hopkins and Muhlenberg Counties. She has worked hard to prepare herself for this position and will be an outstanding state representative,” said Jenkins.

Additionally, Chappell serves as a board member of the Kentucky Democratic Party State Central Executive Committee and chair of the Muhlenberg County Democratic Party. She is an active member of the Kentucky Education Association as well.

Seated at the table, Crystal Chappell (left) completed her official filing documents with Secretary of State Alison Lundergan Grimes reviewing the forms. Offering their support and encouragement include the following from left to right: Shad Chappell (Crystal’s husband), House Floor Leader Joni Jenkins, and House Caucus Chair Derrick Graham.