School district news

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This page includes current and past news about school districts and board elections throughout the United States.

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Arkansas school board challengers unseat three incumbents

By Margaret Koenig

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While only a few races were contested in the Tuesday elections for seven of the largest Arkansas school districts, those races did not end well for most incumbents. In the five contested races, only two incumbents were able to retain their seats.

Incumbent Willie Cowgur defeated Kirsten Johnston in the race for Zone 4 of Bentonville School District's Board of Education. Zone 5 incumbent Lisa Clark, however, was unseated by former board member Travis Riggs. Neither of the Little Rock School District Board of Education incumbents retained their seats. Joy C. Springer unseated first-term Zone 1 incumbent Norma Jean Johnson, while Zone 5 incumbent Jody Carreiro lost to Jim Ross. Springdale Public Schools Zone 3 incumbent Kathy McFetridge easily defeated her challenger Henry Pudder Hudson, and the district's millage rate continuation question was approved by a large margin.[1]

The remaining majority of candidates were elected without opposition with three incumbents and three newcomers in uncontested races. Rogers School District held an uncontentious election. Amy Horn was elected without opposition to the Zone 4 seat on the board, and a millage question to continue the district's current millage rate was approved.[2] Similarly in Conway Public Schools, Wesley "Trip" Leach and Scott Champlin won their first terms on the board without opposition to the Zone 4 and 5 seats, respectively.

Cabot Public School District Board of Education Position 1 incumbent Corey Williams retained his seat for a second consecutive term without opposition. Jeannie Cole and Deanie Mehl were both re-elected to the Fort Smith Public Schools Board of Education. Cole retained the Zone 3 seat, and Mehl retained her at-large seat.

Arkansas school board elections largely unopposed

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By Lauren Dixon

Competition is not in the cards for four of the seven Arkansas school districts holding elections on September 16, 2014. Cabot, Conway, Fort Smith and Rogers school districts will have either unopposed incumbents or newcomers winning the golden ticket to a new five-year term.

In Conway, both seats up for election will be filled by unopposed newcomers; Wesley "Trip" Leach in Zone 4 and Scott Champlin in Zone 5. Rogers School District has only one seat up for election, which will be filled by newcomer Amy Horn. The three districts that do have competitive races — Bentonville, Little Rock and Springdale — only have one challenger opposing the incumbent in each race.

Former state legislator and both incumbents win by big margins in Boise school board race

By Abbey Smith

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A former member of the Idaho House of Representatives is set to become the newest member of the Boise School District Board of Trustees after earning more than 80 percent of the vote in his race. Brian Cronin won election to a two-year term on the board in the general election on September 2, 2014. Two incumbents, Nancy Gregory and Doug Park, also easily won re-election to six-year terms.

Cronin defeated fellow candidate Travis Jones, an executive director for the Idaho Grain Producers Association, for the seat. Gregory and Park faced three challengers, John Hruby, Anthony Shallat and Grant Walden, in their bids for re-election. Gregory was re-elected to her third six-year term on the board, and Park won re-election after getting appointed in 2013. The three winners will be sworn into office on September 8, 2014.[3]

Seven candidates tangle for three seats on Boise school board

By Abbey Smith

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Two incumbents will face a financial analyst, a political consultant and a former candidate for the Idaho House of Representatives in the Boise School District Board of Trustees election on September 2, 2014. Another seat, up for election to a two-year term, is guaranteed to bring fresh blood to the board as two newcomers run to fill a vacancy.

At-large incumbents Nancy Gregory and Doug Park face challengers John Hruby, Anthony Shallat and Grant Walden for two six-year terms on the board. First elected in 2002, Gregory has held a position on the board for over a decade, but Park is relatively new, having been appointed in 2013. Challenger Hruby is not unfamiliar to the election process. A former candidate for the District 18B seat in the Idaho House of Representatives, Hruby lost to Brad Bolicek in the Republican primary on May 15, 2012. Though challenger Shallat hasn't run for office before, he has worked under a number of political officials and has also served on the board of directors for the Idaho Civic Engagement Project.

It's a race between an executive director and a senior vice president to fill the board's vacant seat. Candidate Brian Cronin is a Harvard University graduate who has served in a number of different positions. Senior vice president for Strategies 360, he has also worked as a teacher, press secretary, communications specialist, magazine editor and writer. Competitor Travis Jones is an executive director for the Idaho Grain Producers Association.

The winners of the election will attend a new board member orientation meeting on September 3, 2014, and get sworn into office on September 8, 2014.[3]

Florida and Alabama elections lead to runoffs, school boards to welcome newcomers

By Abbey Smith and Lauren Dixon

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Out of 116 school board seats up for general election in Florida on August 26, 2014, 31 remain undecided and will advance to a runoff election on November 4, 2014. More than half of those seats will be won by newcomers, since only 12 incumbents are moving on to the runoff election. Thirteen other incumbents were unseated in the general election. With the 26 open seats added to those victories by challengers, 27 out of the 36 Florida school districts that held elections will be welcoming newcomers onto their school boards. Two school districts, Hernando County and Volusia County, will welcome three newcomers to their school boards as two incumbents were unseated and one seat was open in each district. In contrast, two other school districts, Bay and Nassau County, canceled their elections due to lack of opposition.

One Alabama school district, Huntsville City Schools, also held elections on August 26, 2014. No incumbents ran for the three seats up for election. Beth Wilder defeated Richard V. Buchanan for the District 2 seat, and Walker McGinis defeated Kimberly Battle for the District 4 seat. The District 3 seat will be determined in a runoff election on October 7, 2014, as neither candidate received 50 percent of the vote.[4]

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