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Spokane, Washington  Est. May 19, 1883

Two of three West Bonner School Board trustees hold on to their seats

Trustees Troy Reinbold and Margaret Hall, center and right, along with interim superintendent Joseph Kren at a board meeting on Monday, Oct. 30, 2023. Reinbold and Hall were re-elected Tuesday.  (James Hanlon/The Spokesman-Review)

The West Bonner School Board had mixed election results Tuesday night, with one moderate candidate holding on to her seat and one incumbent removed.

The election continued a reshuffling of control over the embattled North Idaho school district that replaced two other trustees through a recall earlier this year.

Each of the three races was split by nearly 20% margins.

Margaret Hall, interim chair of the board, defeated Alan Galloway 59.4% to 40.6%.

Incumbent Troy Reinbold beat challenger Elizabeth Glazier 60.5% to 39.5%.

And newcomer Kathy Nash beat Carlyn Barton 59.6% to 40.4%.

Barton, who teaches elementary school in Newport, Washington, was appointed in September 2022.

“I’ve prayed for God’s guidance and he has given me direction,” said Nash, who will be seated in January.

Reinbold and Nash were supporters of Keith Rutledge and Susan Brown, the former chair and vice chair who were recalled in August. They also supported Branden Durst, the controversial superintendent who was hired in June and resigned late last month.

Despite their victory, the board is expected to retain a slight moderate majority with new trustees Ann Yount and Paul Turco appointed last week to replace Rutledge and Brown.

Yount and Turco were appointed 2-1. Reinbold cast the no vote.

“We did what we set out to do and in the way we said we would from the start – focusing on the positive but also recognizing work still needs to be done,” Hall said Wednesday.

Moving forward, she said the board must work together to regain trust of the staff and community, address the district’s long-term financial stability and minimize polarization.

“As a board member, my work is cut out for me,” Hall said. “It is a tall order, but I am committed to do so for the sake of kids and the larger community.”

Recall Replace Rebuild, the political action committee behind the recall, endorsed Hall, Barton and Glazier.

“It was a rough night last night,” said Candy Turner, one of the leaders of the recall. “We are sad and kind of disappointed, but ready to work on rebuilding the district and working with the new superintendent.”

The board hired Joseph Kren, a former principal of Priest River’s high school, as interim superintendent on Oct. 30.

Reinbold has been criticized for being unresponsive and failing to attend recent meetings, preventing the board from reaching a quorum.

Glazier said many people assumed she was ideologically opposite of Reinbold since she was running against him, but they are both conservative Republican Christians.

“I ran against Troy because I thought I would do the job better,” she said.

Glazier said she is proud of her campaign that focused on positive solutions. With her experience as a financial advisor, she was hoping to help with the school district’s budget, which is facing shortfalls after a $4.7 million levy failed to pass in May. She is rooting for Reinbold to do a good job and hopes his constituents hold him accountable.

While Reinbold has multiple felony DUIs on his record prior to 2014, a police report was circulated on social media of a domestic incident on Christmas Eve 2021 in which Glazier punched her mother-in-law unconscious after she had been drinking.

No criminal charges were made, and Glazier said the family has put the incident behind them.

Glazier said she does not believe the police report influenced the election, but she is seeking legal counsel since she believes the report was improperly leaked.

The community was supportive after the report was publicized, she said, and they recognized it as a moment for growth in her life.

“I’ve used this as a stepping stone,” she said.

Glazier is optimistic the new board can be successful.

“I know this community is capable of putting our differences aside for the benefit of our children,” she said.

James Hanlon's reporting for The Spokesman-Review is funded in part by Report for America and by members of the Spokane community. This story can be republished by other organizations for free under a Creative Commons license. For more information on this, please contact our newspaper’s managing editor.