School Board Winners Ready To Take Driver’s Seat
In three races Tuesday, Freeman School District voters replaced a present board member with a former board member, retained an incumbent and elected a community volunteer.
Ron Fulkerson, who finished a four-year stint on the board two years ago, was chosen over four-year board member Bill Adams.
Of all the candidates, Fulkerson was most outspoken against the four-period day, a modified school calendar proposal which divided the community last year and eventually was voted down by the school board.
Fulkerson’s stance on the four-period day might have swayed voters, he said, noting that people felt left out of the decision-making process when the district was examining the four-period day.
“I’ve been involved in the community,” Fulkerson said. “People hopefully know me and trust that I’m going to solicit their input.”
Incumbent Sue Cronk retained her spot on the board, defeating challenger Steve Taylor 62 percent to 38 percent. Cronk, a six-year board member, stressed lobbying legislators to prevent additional cuts to education and increasing community involvement.
“I’m a lifer in the community and I just want what’s best for the community,” said Cronk, who said voters expressed their approval of the district by re-electing her.
In the third race, Kathleen Lundy beat Douglas Spruance, 63 percent to 37 percent. Lundy, who has lived in the district for 16 years, has served on levy committees, helped organize the district’s strategic plan and helps out in classrooms. Though he’s also involved in the schools, Spruance is a relative newcomer to the small, tight-knit community. He and his family moved to the area three years ago.
All Freeman school board candidates stressed retaining the small school flavor of Freeman while the community grows.
In the East Valley School District, Marie Francis beat Donald Glaser. Francis received 54 percent to Glaser’s 46 percent.
Francis has worked with children in classrooms, and served on parent teacher organizations and the district’s bond and levy committees.
Francis met with EV Superintendent Chuck Stocker on Wednesday morning and was introduced to the central office staff.
At the moment, Francis is a little overwhelmed. “But it’s just one day at a time and, you know, I’ll absorb it,” she said. “I’m ready to get started.”
In Central Valley school board races, incumbent Cynthia McMullen received 64 percent in defeating Quincy Edmonds; challenger Craig Holmes got 53 percent to defeat incumbent Cheryl Knighton; incumbent Kay Bryant received 53 percent to defeat Matt Hawkins, and Patty Minnihan received 55 percent to George Springer’s 45 percent.
In the Liberty School District, a $7 million bond proposal which has failed four times in the past two years, once again fell short of the 60 percent approval needed. Votes in favor registered 56.5 percent to 43.5 percent opposed.
“We’re resigned to the fact that we’re not going to get 3-1/2 percent out of absentee ballots,” said Superintendent Donn Livoni. “We’re disappointed the community didn’t support it.”
The district’s one school board race hangs in the balance with a 16-vote difference and absentee ballots still to be counted. Vern Clemenson has 49 percent with 515 votes, to Larry Smith’s 51 percent, or 531 votes.
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