Navarro and Marion school boards will see a mixture of new and familiar faces following Tuesday night’s elections results.
Experience and controversy highlighted Tuesday night’s race for three seats on the Navarro ISD board of trustees.
The top vote getter pulled out of the race before election day, but the electorate still chose to cast ballots for Katherine Ewald. Two incumbents came in second and third to retain their seats on the board.
According to unofficial totals, Ewald finished with 2,646 (24.5%) votes, Renee Rehfeld took home 2,495 (23.1%) votes and Clint Scheib ended the night with 1,762 (16,3%) votes.
Challenger Weldon W. Dietze came in a close fourth with 1,699 (15.8%) votes.
Rehfeld and Scheib said they are pleased to continue working on the board and that they bring valuable experience the board will need moving forward and dealing with the tremendous growth coming to the district.
“I’m glad because right now with our growth coming, we have 11 neighborhoods under construction,” Scheib said. “We’re going to have to start working on this bond policy. We truly need the people that were there because we have the knowledge and experience already.
“It’s probably going to be our biggest bond package in the history of Navarro.”
With so much growth, the district is faced with building a new school in the near future, he said. Already having acquired knowledge on the process of asking voters to approve bond packages gives her a leg up on the work ahead, Rehfeld said.
She has been on the board since first being elected in 2008 and after winning in 2012 and 2016.
That means she was a board member when voters approved a bond in 2015. Rehfeld said she is ready to bring what she learned from that election to help with upcoming expansion of the district.
“I’m just excited to serve another four years representing the students, the staff and the community, and just continue to do what we’ve started with all the growth that’s happening in the district and so forth,” she said. “We have some work to do for sure.”
Ewald was not prepared to speak about the race Tuesday night.
Scheib said he was happy to pull out the win, which was close. While happy, he was a little concerned as well.
“To be completely honest, I wish it was a little bit more informed voters since Ewald pulled out of the race,” Scheib said.
It was unclear Tuesday night what would happen with the seat Ewald won.
District personnel already have begun planning ways of taking the next steps. Rehfeld said she’s sure the district will be in good hands, as she soaked in the excitement from her big win.
“It’s a great night to be a Panther,” Rehfeld said.
Marion’s school board will see a pair of new faces and welcome back an incumbent.
Karl Harborth, Jill LeSage and Mike Purcell were elected to represent the Marion community as trustees on the Marion ISD board.
Harborth Led the pack in the final voting totals with 1,409 ballots cast in his favor. LeSage wasn’t far behind with 1,248 votes, while Purcell pulled in 1,119.
“I would like to thank everyone who came out to support me over the last few weeks, and to my family and friends, who support me on a daily basis,” LeSage said. “I aim to do my community proud by continuing to do what is right while striving to improve our beloved MISD.”
Purcell joined Trustees Eric Smith and La Verne Vick who were vying to retain their seats.
Purcell was elected to the board in 2011, while Vick and Smith joined in 2014. They also faced challenger Jamie Mote.
Vick came in a close fourth with 1,109 votes, while Mote had 857 and Smith had 754.
Early voting totals had Harborth ahead with 1,163 votes. LeSage trailed with 1,015, Purcell had 910, Mote had 722 and Eric Smith had 610.
Purcell joined the board in November 2011, while Smith and Vick joined the board in May 2014.
“I appreciate all the pervious board members attempted to do for our community and our students,” LeSage said.
Purcell and Harborth did not respond to calls for comment.