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Incumbents fare well in Missouri, South Dakota and California school board elections

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April 9, 2014

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By Alex Schaffer

On April 8, 2014, 21 school board elections took place in Missouri, California and South Dakota. Most of the contests were in Missouri, where 17 elections were held and an additional two elections were cancelled due to candidates running unopposed. Both California and South Dakota held only a single school board election each. Incumbents fared well in these elections, with only six incumbents losing their seats to their challengers.

In the Sioux Falls School District election, incumbent Douglas C. Morrison defeated Roger Russell in South Dakota's lone school board election. The election attracted more than 23,000 votes. California's only school board election saw much lower voter turnout in the Long Beach Unified School District. Fewer than 11,000 ballots were cast in the two tightly contested Long Beach elections, despite the district boasting a student population nearly four times larger than the Sioux Falls School District. Community activist Megan Kerr defeated petroleum engineer Uduak-Joe Ntuk in the District 1 contest that was separated by fewer than 200 votes. In the District 3 contest, incumbent Board President John McGinnis defeated Juan Benitez in a contest decided by fewer than 250 votes.

In Missouri, incumbents swept the ballot in Columbia Public Schools, Hazelwood School District, Independence School District and Park Hill School District. Lee's Summit R-7 Schools held an election with very low turnout, where only 216 ballots were cast in a district that serves 17,559 students. Another closely contested election was held in Wentzville R-IV School District, where incumbent Heather Reiter was ousted by Courtney Tieman, Barbara Fine and Kenneth Mayer. Kansas City Public Schools will see three new board members with the election of newcomers Melissa J. Robinson, Patricia Mansur and Amy H. Hartsfield.

Spotlight: Ferguson-Florissant School District

Despite controversy surrounding the suspension and eventual resignation of Superintendent Art McCoy, incumbents Robert Chabot and Paul T. Morris successfully defended their seats against six challengers. Former Ferguson-Florissant principal Donna Paulette-Thurman also won a seat on the board in an election which drew more than 16,000 votes. Paulette-Thurman was elected as the district's lone black representative in a school district where black students make up approximately 78 percent of the student body. James Savala, Paulette-Thurman's partner on the "Grade A for Change" slate, fell just 91 votes short of a seat in his attempt to oust the incumbent candidates.[1] The new board members will be tasked with choosing a new superintendent for the school district.[2]

Candidates

Note: An (i) next to a candidate's name indicates incumbent status.

California

Long Beach Unified School District
District 1

UncheckedBox.jpg Uduak-Joe Ntuk
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Megan Kerr

District 3

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg John McGinnis (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Juan Benitez

District 5

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Diana F. Craighead (i)

Missouri

Blue Springs School District
At-large

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Kay Coen (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Dale Falck (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Dale Walkup (i)

Columbia Public Schools
At-large

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Paul Cushing (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Jonathan Sessions (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Joseph A. Toepke
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Helen Wade (i)

Ferguson-Florissant School District
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Kimberly Benz
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Robert Chabot (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg F. Willis Johnson Jr.
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Paul T. Morris (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Donna Paulette-Thurman
UncheckedBox.jpg James Savala
UncheckedBox.jpg Larry Thomas
UncheckedBox.jpg LaWanda Wallace

Fox C-6 School District
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Chris Hastings
UncheckedBox.jpg Mark Jones
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg John Laughlin (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Dawn Mullins
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Vernon Sullivan
UncheckedBox.jpg Robert Gruenewald

Fort Zumwalt R-II School District
At-large

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg John Callahan
UncheckedBox.jpg Caleb Hunter
UncheckedBox.jpg Christopher Hunter
UncheckedBox.jpg Daniel Ipson
UncheckedBox.jpg Emily Malabey
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Brent Meyers
UncheckedBox.jpg Craig Moore
UncheckedBox.jpg Jim Pepper
UncheckedBox.jpg Robert Polkinghorne
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Renee Porter (i)


Francis Howell School District
At-large

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Rene Cope
UncheckedBox.jpg Kimberlyann Granger
UncheckedBox.jpg Mike Hoehn (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Mark C. Lafata (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Chad Lange
UncheckedBox.jpg Ralph Moore
UncheckedBox.jpg Cory Simek
UncheckedBox.jpg Gary Stevenson
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Mike Sommer (i)

Hazelwood School District
At-large

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Ann Gibbons (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Donna Harrell-Saddler
UncheckedBox.jpg David J. Pilla
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Charles Woods (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Brenda C. Youngblood (i)

Independence School District
At-large

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Denise Fears (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Blake Roberson (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Ron Thornbury
UncheckedBox.jpg Dennis Tharp

Kansas City Public Schools
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Janelle N. Bailey
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Amy H. Hartsfield
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Patricia Mansur
UncheckedBox.jpg Catina K. Taylor

Sub-district 2

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Gunnar Hand

Sub-district 4

UncheckedBox.jpg Joseph C. Jackson (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Melissa J. Robinson

Sub-district 6

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Carl Evans (i)

Lee's Summit R-7 Schools
At-large

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Bill Baird
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Terri Harmon (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Mark Ousnamer
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Chris Storms (i)

Liberty Public Schools
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Bruce Cantwell
UncheckedBox.jpg Don Hubbs
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Kim-Marie Graham (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Jesse Leimkuehler
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Angela Reed
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Lori Tritz (i)


Mehlville School District
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Rich Franz (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Randy Howard
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Venki Palamand
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Jean Pretto
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Samantha Stormer

North Kansas City Schools
At-large

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Joe Jacobs (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Dixie Youngers
UncheckedBox.jpg Brian Mercer

Park Hill School District
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg David Blackburn
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Janice Bolin (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Bart J. Klein
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Boon Lee (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Lathem Scott

Parkway Schools
At-large

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Deborah Hopper
UncheckedBox.jpg Chris Jacob (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Dee Mogerman (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Tim Sauer
UncheckedBox.jpg Wade R. Wieser

Rockwood School District
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Darby Jo Arakelian (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Matt Doell (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Keith Kinder (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Dominque Paul
UncheckedBox.jpg Eileen Tyrrell

Springfield Public Schools
At-large

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Denise Frederick (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Tim Rosenbury

St. Joseph School District
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Jeff Bird
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Kappy Hodges
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Lori Prussman

Wentzville R-IV School District
At-large

UncheckedBox.jpg Marcos Chu
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Barbara Fine
UncheckedBox.jpg Rick Glidewell
UncheckedBox.jpg Ron Lares
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Kenneth Mayer
UncheckedBox.jpg Heather Reiter (i)
CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Courtney Tieman (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Angie Ward

South Dakota

Sioux Falls School District
At-large

CheckedBoxOffset.jpg Douglas C. Morrison (i)
UncheckedBox.jpg Roger Russell

See also

References