November 3, 2004
Apache Junction and Chandler unified school districts got more money, and school boards throughout the East Valley changed on Tuesday.
Apache Junction voters approved a $49.8 million bond to build a second high school, buy new buses, update technology and build learning centers at Apache Junction High School.
Chandler voters approved a $31 million bond issue for classroom construction and repairing school buildings.
"No matter what is going on around the world, education and our kids are near and dear to our hearts," said Karen Clark, a member of the Chandler Unified School District governing board. Many voters crowded the polls eager to choose those making the decisions that directly affect schools.
"I have two daughters who are teachers," said Angel Jimenez of Mesa. "I just wanted to vote for whoever will do the best job for education."
In the Mesa Unified School District, incumbent Cindi Hobbs as well as newcomers Lynn Burnham and Richard Crandall appeared to be winning the district's three open seats in a field of five candidates. Carmen Guerrero and Dave Lane trailed.
In the Kyrene Elementary School District, incumbent Rich Zawtocki appeared to be winning re-election alongside newcomers Sue Knudson and Mitzi Epstein.
Board president Robert Briscoe appeared to be losing in the four-way race for three seats.
Tempe Elementary School District voters appeared to be re-electing its three incumbents, Karen Arrendondo, Rose Crutcher and Kim Gomez. Newcomer Ray Devine kept a close fourth in the race for three seats.
Tempe Union High School District governing board incumbents Michelle Helm and Zita Johnson appeared to win re-election. Former school board member Frances Lewis, who had served 24 years on the board, also returned strong. Candidates Lizabeth Stephens and Donald Keuth trailed in the contest for three seats.
In the Apache Junction district, governing board incumbent Pat McNamara appeared to have won re-election in a close and crowded contest, where newcomers Wendy Moore and Dan Scott also won.
For the East Valley Institute of Technology, incumbent Dolores Watkins held on to her seat for east Mesa District 8 while newcomer Russell Nielson led Martin Whalen, president of the school's scholarship program, for the west Mesa District 6 seat.