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East County voters elect new school board members


In May, Parkrose voters elected Mary Lu Baetkey to the school board. A retired teacher, Baetkey taught at Prescott Elementary in the district for years.
In the Parkrose School District, all five positions on the board of education were up for election.

Voters elected new members to the three open seats, including one with no challenger.

Three incumbents chose not to seek re-election.

Of the two incumbents who did run, one was unopposed, and one, who has served less than a year, was re-elected.

Mary Lu Baetkey, one of those seeking an open seat, won her race with more than 59 percent of votes, while her opponent Dave Carter drew nearly 38 percent.

Erick Flores won with just over 50 percent of votes for another open seat, while opponents Heather Simoneau received more than 28 percent and Bruce Altizer more than 17 percent.

James Trujillo was unopposed for the other open seat. Incumbent Ed Grassel Jr. also ran unopposed on the ballot, but faced a write-in campaign from Simoneau. More than 360 write-in votes were cast in that race.

Thuy Tran, appointed in July 2012 after board member Guy Crawford resigned to join the Peace Corps, was elected to the two years remaining in Crawford's term with about 56 percent of the vote. Her opponent, Mark Gardner, a former board member, received more than 42 percent of votes.

Member-elect Flores, a teacher in the David Douglas School District said, “I would like to thank the voters of Parkrose for pinning their hopes on me (my campaign) to be their voice at their school board, representing position 5.” He added, “While we have many challenges ahead, I will not forget what has brought me here.”

Member-elect Baetkey has criticized the current board and superintendent for poor communication with district taxpayers, but said she doesn't foresee problems in working with the new panel. “I believe that the process we develop is important as this new board forms itself and takes on the issues facing the District. I am confident that while five individuals might have some differences, we will work together for the students of Parkrose.” She added, “I look forward to this chance to serve the Parkrose Community and shall do my best.”

In the five David Douglas School District races, voters retained three incumbents on the seven-member school board. They include Cheryl Scarcelli Ancheta, who received more than 57 percent of votes while her challenger, Johnny Walker, received about 40 percent. Incumbent Donn Gardner was not challenged. Kyle Riggs, the third incumbent running, who was appointed to fill a resigning board member's seat, also ran unopposed.

A new David Douglas board member, Shannon Raybold, ran unopposed for one of two open seats. Christine Larsen received about 53 percent of the votes for the other open seat - that was also sought by Robert Zeller, who received about 25 percent of votes cast, and Kristina Dennis, who received more than 19 percent.

Reynolds voters re-elected Joe Teeny with more than 56 percent of the votes. His opponent, Jake Woolsey, who received more than 41 percent of votes, is a 2012 Reynolds High School graduate. Two new members of the Reynolds School District's seven-member school board, Diego Hernandez and John Lindenthal, were unopposed. Incumbent Robert E. Lee had no opponent.
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