Leaders emerge in Mesa, A.J. school races - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Education News

Leaders emerge in Mesa, A.J. school races

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Posted: Tuesday, November 4, 2008 9:20 pm | Updated: 9:32 pm, Fri Oct 7, 2011.

For the first time in more than 20 years, a new majority will take office on the Mesa Unified School District governing board.

With much of the vote counted Michael Nichols, Steven Peterson and Ben Whiting were winning.

They will likely join longtime Mesa board member Michael Hughes and Dave Lane, who is in the middle of his first term.

Kate Ali’Varius was closely behind Nichols with 70 percent of the votes counted Tuesday night.

Two new board members will take office in the Apache Junction Unified School District. Incomplete voting results show fire district Capt. Jeff Cranmer and veteran teacher Linda Newkirk earned spots along incumbent Wendy Moore.

In Mesa, Cindy Hobbs, Rich Crandall and Lynn Burnham chose not to seek re-election.

Crandall and Burnham both served one term. Hobbs served two.

The new Mesa board will take on major issues in the spring, including the budget and selecting a new superintendent. Debra Duvall announced she will retire next summer after more than eight years as the leader of the largest district in the state.

Former Mesa school board member Tom Rhodes, who served two terms, said the new members will have on-the-job training. None of the new members have ever served in an elected position.

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