In the District A School Board election, the only district with a contested race on Tuesday, challengers Helen Morris and Mimi Carter won three-year terms along with incumbent Sheryl Gorsuch as representatives of the citys East End.
One new Board member was a certainty as only two incumbents were in the race.
However, with the potential for as many as three newcomers, voters split the difference and left incumbent Scott Newsham on the outside looking in, in fourth place, 282 votes behind Gorsuch.
Morris, the top vote getter in District A, knew it was going to be a tight race.
It was a huge surprise to get the most votes, Morris said. Everyone ran such great campaigns. Sheryl [Gorsuch] and Scott [Newsham] have done so much on the School Board over the last three years, it was really surprising.
The day after the election, Newsham said he hadnt given much thought to running again but its very unlikely.
I ran a campaign that Im proud of, I focused on building on the successes of the last three years and looking to the future, Newsham said. I respect the decision of the people in District A who made the effort to get out and vote.
Current School Board Chair Yvonne Folkerts, who was unopposed for re-election from District B in the center part of the city, said that the Board would miss Newshams leadership and incredible ability to do his homework, keeping everyone on their toes.
Arthur Peabody and Marc Williams were also reelected. In District C, the West End, incumbents Ronnie Campbell, Blanche Maness and Charles Wilson all won reelection, running unopposed.
Both Carter and Morris have things on their to-do lists between now and when they take office in July.
Now, its time to go back into the community and say, OK, lets get together and figure out what we want to accomplish for our kids, Morris said.
Meanwhile, Carter said shes eager to follow through with the focus of her campaign: accountability, accessibility and adaptability.
The first thing I would like to do is understand, completely, how much weve invested in new programs over the last five years and try to figure out how were going to evaluate which ones are working and which ones arent, Carter said.
Folkerts said, We will have to spend time with (the new members) together as a Board reviewing board policy, bringing them up to date on issues and trying to get them up to speed as quick as we can so when we are sworn in on July 1 we can hit the ground running.
Carter does not expect the learning curve that comes with being a new member to be too large, citing her familiarity with school boards in general and how shes followed the workings of the ACPS board over the last few years.