Kim Mertes and Grant Lightle are on opposite ends of the second high school spectrum, both vying for Position 3 on the Bentonville School Board.
"We need to listen to teachers and administrators who are with our students every day... I don't feel that we need a full comprehensive second high school. Why not be on the cutting edge and do something differently than everyone else does?" said Mertes.
"I understand research, I understand how to cut through data, get to the heart of issues... The only answer that is going to actually solve the problem we have at hand is going to have to be a second high school," said Lightle.
Mertes is searching outside of the box for solutions.
"We can give students a firm foundation for online education at the high school level... I've been researching career and technical schools, and a stem type school that's science, technology engineering, and math."
While Lightle sees four right angles.
"You can cut some of the athletic facilities and build practice fields and use the varsity stadium... You get a second high school you have twice as many opportunities for sports, theater, leadership roles and a tighter sense of community."
Many believe the candidate that claims the seat will strongly sway the second high school decision, so the future of the Bentonville School District might be in the hands of only 6,484 voters living in Zone 3.
As the candidates face off in a runoff, they are rallying for support with two very different views.
"I see no reason to continue to build on a one school model that just results in fewer opportunities for students," said Lightle.
"I believe that we have multiple ways to solve that growth issue," said Mertes.
While the two have differing views on many issues, they both recognize the need to come up with a solution voters will approve and in a timely manner. Mertes and Lightle both spoke to the possibility of the Arkansas Department of Education taking over the school district if a second millage proposal fails and if the district is in facility distress.
Early voting is October 2 through October 8 at the Benton County Administration Building from 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.
The Runoff election is October 9, and folks living in Zone 3 can vote at the Church of Christ at 904 North Walton Boulevard from 7:30 am to 7:30 pm.