Voters returned incumbents James Barrett and Joal Hall Broun to the school board Tuesday, Nov. 7, but two newcomers stole the show, finishing with the two highest vote totals in the seven-way race for four seats.
Newcomer Amy Fowler led the way with 9,486 votes (22.40 percent) and was followed by fellow newcomer Mary Ann Wolf with 8,719 votes (20.59 percent) with all 29 precincts reporting.
Broun finished third with 8,254 votes (19.49 percent) vote and Barrett was fourth with 7,393 votes (17.46 percent).
The bottom three finishers — who were eliminated — were Kim Talikoff with 5,857 votes (13,83 percent), Calvin Deutschbein 1,469 votes (3.47 percent) and Ryan Brummond 1,011 votes (2.39 percent).
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There were also 165 write-in votes.
As the fourth-place finisher Barrett, the current school board chairman, will finish the unexpired term of longtime board member Annetta Streater who resigned in September to focus on family and work commitments.
“I would have liked to have finished at the top, but it’s good to be back on the board,” Barrett said.
He said he is eager to continue making progress toward closing the achievement gap and finalizing plans for the Lincoln Center Campus redevelopment and renovations at Chapel Hill High School, two bond projects that are threatened by higher than expected construction costs.
Meanwhile, Fowler, who celebrated the victory at home with about 10 supporters who were “crucial in helping her get out the vote” said she is ecstatic about winning a seat on the board.
“I’m ready to do the hard work,” Fowler said.
That hard work includes equity issues in the district, expanding pre-kindergarten, improving services for children with disabilities, recruiting and retaining top teachers and improving communication between parents and administrators, she said.
Meanwhile, Wolf said she is excited about the opportunity to work to ensure that the school district is serving all of its students.
“I believe we have a good school system for many kids, but I won’t to make sure we have a good system for all kids,” Wolf said.
Wolf said she is eager to begin work on district challenges such as closing the achievement gap, meeting the needs of all students and recruiting and retaining “the most effective” teachers and administrators.
Broun said the race had a lot of talented candidates.
“It was a really hard campaign with a lot of qualified candidates,” Broun said. “I’m looking forward to the next four years working with the new members and working to educate all students to the best of our ability.”
Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education (4 seats)
Amy Fowler — 9,486 (22.40 percent)
Mary Ann Wolf — 8,719 (20.59 percent)
Joal Hall Broun* — 8,254 (19.49 percent)
James Barrett * — 7, 393 (17.46 percent)
Kim Talikoff — 5,857 (13.83 percent)
Calvin Deutschbein — 1,469 (3.47 percent)
Ryan Brummond — 1,011 (2.39 percent)
29 of 29 precincts reporting