Unofficial results show E.V. school boards will be mix of incumbents, newcomers - East Valley Tribune: Politics

Unofficial results show E.V. school boards will be mix of incumbents, newcomers

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Posted: Tuesday, November 2, 2010 5:43 pm | Updated: 7:25 am, Thu Nov 4, 2010.

School board members in Chandler Unified School District retained their seats while newcomers are joining incumbents in Tempe Union and Mesa Unified, according to unofficial election results late Tuesday.

Longtime Chandler board members Annette Auxier and Bob Rice will remain on the board along with Karen Bredeson.

Bredeson was appointed to the board last summer after a vacancy was created when a board member moved out of state. But because there was time to put the measure on the ballot, she was only appointed to fill in until December. She had to run on the ballot to fill the remaining two years on the seat.

Though she was challenged by one opponent, she won.

"I am excited. The last couple of months have been really interesting. I didn't really know all the intricacies of the district," Bredeson said Tuesday night. "It's been exciting and I am really, really pleased to be part of that."

Newcomer Michelle Udall appears to be joining longtime board member Mike Hughes on the Mesa Unified School District governing board.

Udall led the four candidates in early results, followed by Hughes. Governing board president Dave Lane and newcomer Merrianne Geisdorf trailed behind.

"What I'm looking forward to most is improving student performance and making decisions that really benefit our kids and save money at the same time," Udall said. "I think the biggest thing is we have a bit of a budget crisis and we have to find ways to save money without negatively impacting the students. We also really need to work on getting kids ready for college. I feel there is an urgency there that a lot of the kids who are graduating are not prepared for college."

Legislator David Schapira won a seat on the Tempe Union High School District governing board, along with current board member Mary Lou Taylor. Schapira, who currently serves in the state House, also won a state Senate seat in District 17.

There were no incumbents on the ballot for the Gilbert Unified School District. Staci Burk and Shane Stapley appear to have defeated Blake Sacha for the two open seats.

Del Caron will remain on the Queen Creek Unified School District governing board according to early results. He will be joined by newcomer Ken Brague, who defeated Hayley Creager-Wihongi.

The other contested school board race in the East Valley - in Kyrene Elementary School District - was too close to call Wednesday morning. Bernadette Coggins had 38 percent of the vote. Beth Brizel was leading Ben Benedict by 133 votes.

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