Washington School District voters returned one incumbent and elected two newcomers to the school board in Tuesday’s municipal election.
Incumbent Scott Byrne, 47, of Labadie, was re-elected in voting Tuesday. The two new members are Rebecca Voelkerding, 44, Washington, and Susan Thatcher, 64, Labadie.
They defeated Anton Hinrichs, Janie Chalem and Dan Haire, all of Washington, in a six-way race for three board seats.
The Washington School District takes in parts of three counties — Franklin, Warren and St. Charles. The unofficial vote totals in all three counties are: Voelkerding, 1,857; Byrne, 1,704; Thatcher, 1,342; Chalem, 1,038; Haire, 985; and Hinrichs, 629.
Byrne told The Missourian he’s looking forward to serving another three terms and seeing some of the projects the district has embarked on in the last few years come to fruition, including its 21st Century Learning Plan and increased technology.
“I also want to thank everyone who supported me,” Bryne said.
Voelkerding said she’s thrilled with the opportunity to serve the district.
“I’m looking forward to working with the school board members and administration,” she said. “I really want to thank those who supported me and helped with my campaign.”
Thatcher also said she’s excited about the win and her new role.
“Thank you to everyone who voted for me,” she said. “I look forward to the responsibility the voters/taxpayers have entrusted in me.”
The newly elected school board members will be sworn in Thursday, April 17, at the district office at 7:30 a.m.
The next regular school board meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, April 30, at 7 p.m.
The unofficial vote totals by county are as follows:
Franklin County — Voelkerding, 1,497; Byrne, 1,431; Thatcher, 1,088; Chalem, 863; Haire, 853; and Hinrichs, 503. There were 32 write-in votes.
Warren — Voelkerding, 220; Byrne, 163; Thatcher, 168; Chalem, 117; Haire, 90; and Hinrichs, 87.
St. Charles — Voelkerding, 140; Byrne, 110; Thatcher, 86; Chalem, 58; Haire, 42; and Hinrichs, 39. There were two write-in votes.
Going off the school board this month will be Jennifer Triplett and Brian Sumner, who both declined to seek re-election. Triplett and Sumner have each served nine years. Byrne has served two terms on the board.
Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer said Triplett and Sumner will be missed.
“It will be hard for me to imagine our board of education without them,” she said. “They have each served since 2005 with nothing but the best intentions for our school district.
“They each show compassion for students and programs that serve them well. I will truly miss them,” she added.
VanLeer said she’s thrilled to have the opportunity to continue working with Scott Byrne.
“Scott has provided solid leadership in the role of board president,” she said.
“I also look forward to working with both Rebecca Voelkerding and Susan Thatcher,” VanLeer added. “They are intelligent ladies who have decided to vest themselves in our school district in a new way.”