Archive for Tuesday, April 5, 2005

Incumbents turned out in Board of Education races

Three newcomers eager to start work

April 5, 2005

It was out with the old and in with the new Tuesday night in De Soto USD 232 Board of Education races. Three newcomers were voted onto the Board, and two incumbents were voted off.

In the Position 4 race, Randy Johnson of De Soto beat 14-year Board veteran Curtis Allenbrand of Olathe, 2,302 to 1,029. Johnson will be the sole De Soto resident on the new Board.

The Position 5 race was close, with Janine Gracy edging out incumbent Jim Thomas 1,616 to 1,531. Both live in Shawnee.

Shawnee residents Larry Meyer and Denise Taylor ran for Position 6. Meyer just won that race with 1,631 votes to Taylor's 1,371.

Johnson commended his opponent, Allenbrand, for his many years of good service for the district and its constituents.

Johnson said he hoped to help the Board keep moving forward but also hoped to affect change, especially in the matters of slowing district spending and inspiring more parental involvement.

Gracy and Meyer said they, too, looked forward to their new opportunities.

"I'm just real excited to hop on that learning curve that I know is going to be straight up," Gracy said. "I think it's an exciting challenge, and I'm up for it."

Meyer echoed the sentiment.

"It's time now, I think, to roll up my sleeves and get to work for the students of the district," he said.

With three new representatives joining the Board, a fresh perspective would be forthcoming, Gracy said.

"I think, also, the voters thought that maybe it was time for a change, and we needed some new faces and new perspective on the Board," she said. "I'm excited to look ahead and see what we can do on the Board to affect change."

Newly elected Board members will take their seats in July.

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