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Contested Races Shape Up For Area School Board Elections

By Staff | Aug 9, 2011

With the official close of filing on Thursday, August 4, the ballots will be full in all four school districts in Palo Alto County for the upcoming September School Board elections. Contested races will highlight the ballots in the Emmetsburg, Ruthven-Ayrshire, West Bend-Mallard and Graettinger/Terril Community School District when voters go to the polls on Sept. 13.

Voters in the Emmetsburg Community School District will have nine individuals vying for the quartet of seats up for election. While incumbent board members Laure Egland, Steve Pelzer and Linda Mathis Tienter have all filed for re-election, board member Don Hagen chose not to seek re-election to the board.

Along with the three incumbents, six individuals have also filed nomination papers for the four seats on the school board. Those filing include Rick Brennan, Johnny Hurley, Scott Kibbie, Scott Lowman, Kathleen Roethler and B.J. Schany.

There will also be a large contested election in the Ruthven-Ayrshire Community School District, as nine individuals will contest the four vacancies on that board as well. Incumbent board members Lisa Berkland, Ray Grandstaff and Matthew Graves have all filed for re-election to their seats, while 12-year board member Dave Forey chose not to run for another term.

Also filing nomination papers in the Ruthven-Ayrshire district to compete in the election process will be Larry J. Conlon, Joey S. Cother, Tracy Enderson, Regina Evans, Jordan Gray and Katie Meyer.

In the West Bend-Mallard Community School District, four seats on the board are up for election, with just two incumbents choosing to run again, Jillian Hansen and Dawn Schmidt. Board members Jessica Wickman and Lannie Miller chose not to run for re-election to the board.

Filing nomination papers for the West Bend-Mallard school board race are Mark Collins, Heather Studer and John Zaugg.

Additionally, voters in the West Bend-Mallard district will be asked to vote on a public measure question for a Public Education and Recreation Levy of 13 and one-half cents per thousand valuations for the district.

Voters in the Graettinger/Terril Community School District will be downsizing the school board as part of the re-organization of the districts that occurred in 2010. The board will go from seven seats to five, with three incumbents running for seats. Incumbents Kevin Jensen and Roger Schmitt have both filed for re-election to their seats, and are being opposed by Heidi Skattebo in a race to fill two vacancies. A vacancy on the board to fill a term expiring in 2013 has no declared candidates for the ballot, while a vacancy on the board to fill a term expiring in 2015 is being sought by incumbent board member Galen Chicoine.

Additionally, voters in the Graettinger portion of the district who reside in Iowa Lakes Community College Director District One will also vote for the lone candidate for the seat on the college’s Board of Trustees. Current trustee James Miller of Ringsted chose not to run for re-election to the post, but Arden Kinnander of Armstrong has filed nomination papers for the seat.

August 9 is the last day that any of the announced candidates may withdraw their names from the ballot, and is also the last day that any written objections to the nomination papers or eligibility of any candidate may be filed with the local commissioner of elections.

Voter registration for the September school board elections closes on September 2 at 5 p.m. and the actual Election Day will be on Tuesday, Sept. 13.