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Cecil, Wentz Vie For EV Schools Post Blair, Hansen To Face Off In Riverside District

Veteran Karen Cecil and newcomer Susan Wentz will face off in November’s general election for the East Valley School Board.

Cecil and Wentz, garnering 33 and 51 percent of the vote, respectively, edged out Sandra Thompson-Jacholkowski for a shot at the school board position.

Cecil, 44, has served 12 years on the school board. Her goals for a fourth term include supporting the district’s new Continuous Curriculum School. The school, which opened this fall, uses a modified version of a year-round calendar.

Providing the best education program possible within the district’s budget is another goal for the video store manager.

The state Public Disclosure Commission has fined Cecil $350 for failure to file a financial disclosure statement. She had not paid the fine as of Monday afternoon. The agency also fined her in 1994; Cecil maintains the agency acted in error that year.

Wentz, 48, is a Windemere real estate agent.

“I don’t really have any big complaints about the school board, Wentz said. “I think it’s good to have new ideas brought in.”

Riverside School Board

The No. 5 position in the Riverside district will pit Patricia Blair against longtime board member Janet Hansen.

Voters bumped former Riverside school bus driver Allen Lieske from the race Tuesday, as he came in third with 20 percent. Blair snagged 40.2 percent and Hansen 39.8 percent.

Hansen, a homemaker, has five children enrolled in the district. She’s been a chairwoman on the school board, serving as a liaison between the board and community for eight years.

The veteran said she is happy with the education her children have received but added: “There is room for improvement.”

Hansen also said she wants to see the district get stronger in its early reading programs for young students.

Blair, also a homemaker, said if she is elected, she would like to help “open up the board” and make it more accessible to the community.

She doesn’t believe the school district considered the needs of parents and students when it changed school and bus schedules this year by merging the Riverside and Deer Park routes.

Board members said the move was designed to save the district money.

, DataTimes