Scottsdale Unified School District voters appear to have re-elected two governing board members and a newcomer to lead the district through probable budget cuts, declining enrollment and school consolidations.
Incumbents Jennifer Petersen and Eric Meyer were comfortably in the lead Tuesday night, while newcomer Bonnie Sneed had a sizeable lead over Paige Frenkel, according to early unofficial results. An unknown number of early and provisional ballots have yet to be counted.
Of those four candidates running for three open seats, Peterson was in the lead with 29 percent of the votes, and Meyer, who also is running for a state House seat in legislative District 11, had garnered 27 percent of the votes, according to the results.
The results were based on 80 percent of the 98 precincts being turned in.
Newcomers Bonnie Sneed, an education volunteer and former educator, appeared to best Frenkel, a former teacher and national educational consultant.
When the board members take office on Jan. 1, they will be faced with the task of hiring a new schools superintendent in the wake of Dr. John Baracy’s retirement last week and dealing with the emotional issue of several school consolidations.
Petersen, 47, said that she has knocked on a lot of doors and has been answering many phone calls and e-mails and talking to parent groups prior to this election.
“I had to do a lot of research the last time. This time, It’s been more of a matter of doing my job. There’s been a lot of focus on school consolidation,” she said.
Scottsdale schools also face the challenge of the strong likelihood of budget cuts, and school officials also want to reach the goal of getting all 32 schools in the district to excel by 2010, up from the 22 now excelling.
Meyer, also 47, agreed.
“We’re going to have to decide the best use of the resources . . . whether to keep our schools that aren’t at capacity open, or to consolidate them,” Meyer said.