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Palo Alto County Elects School Board Officials

By Staff | Sep 14, 2017


Palo Alto County voters decided contests at the polls on Tuesday, September 12 at school elections held in four school districts.

Emmetsburg elected incumbent Jane Hoyman, along with former school board member Kathy Roethler, and newcomer Aaron Dietrich.

Graettinger-Terril voted not to pass the bond issue. The bond issue was proposed to provide $9,610,000 for the district to finish remodeling projects on the Terril building including a new addition to add a secure main entrance. The bond also would have helped to fund a new construction project at Graettinger including a new competitive gym, locker rooms, science classrooms and labs, as well as new industrial technology and agriculture classrooms and labs. Voting to pass the bond issue would have resulted in an overall school tax levy increase by a maximum of $2.70 per $1,000 of taxable valuation. The vote needed 60% to pass, but only received 57.32% (462 yes votes out of 806 total votes).

The Graettinger-Terril school district also voted in incumbent Mathew Hanson who ran unopposed for the Terril seat. Tonya Feldhacker earned 425 votes beating incumbent Kyle M. Norris who received 306 votes for the Graettinger seat.

West Bend- Mallard voters voted to continue the Physical Plant and Equipment Levy (PPEL). A PPEL is a levy or tax that can be used to complete school repairs and improvements. The PPEL needed 50% to pass; it passed with 76% of votes. 76 votes were cast in favor of the PPEL and 24 not in favor.


Three school board seats were also up for election at West Bend- Mallard. Christopher Montag (95 votes), Mike Thatcher (92 votes), and Dave Bruellman (84 votes) were all voted onto the West Bend- Mallard school board; there were three write-in votes. Both Bruellman and Thatcher were incumbents.

Ruthven-Ayrshire elected three school board members: Darin J. Malm was awarded 80 votes, Bruce D. Long received 78 votes, and Susan Sikora received 64 votes. Malm, Long, and Sikora were all awarded seats on Ruthven-Ayrshire’s school board. All three elected school board officials were incumbent.

Tuesday night’s results will remain unofficial until the Palo Alto County Auditor’s Office has ensured all absentee ballots have been received.

Emmetsburg Vote

15% of the citizens of Emmetsburg that are registered voted on Tuesday. Three spots were up for election on the Emmetsburg school board. The results are as follows: Jane Hoyman -389 votes, Kathy Roethler – 330 votes, Aaron Dietrich – 275 votes, Jill Graham- 236 votes, and Linda Mathis Tienter- 132 votes. Hoyman, Roethler, and Dietrich received the most votes thus earning a seat on the Emmetsburg school board. Each member will serve a four-year term.


Jane Hoyman was appointed to fill a vacancy on the school board in January of 2017. She was officially voted onto the Emmetsburg school board on Tuesday night. “I am very honored to be elected and excited to continue on the board and assist in defining divisions of the district,” Hoyman said Tuesday night.

Kathy Roethler previously served on the school board from 2011-2015. “I am very excited because I was on the school board for four years. The last year of my board term, my husband was very sick and I didn’t have the opportunity to give it my full attention. I’m glad to be able to finish what I started and give it all of my attention,” Roethler commented on Tuesday evening after receiving the results.

Aaron Dietrich was also voted onto the school board on Tuesday night. He has not previously served on the Emmetsburg school board but attended Emmetsburg Schools as a child. He was unavailable for comment after the election on Tuesday night.

Congratulations to all elected officials, and we thank you for your service to the Palo Alto County school systems.