Voters in the Dolores Re-4 School District overwhelmingly re-elected school board incumbents Jon Kelly and Vangi McCoy. Kelly received 650 votes, while McCoy received 513. Both will serve a four-year term.
Meanwhile, newcomer to the school board Deanna Truelsen also won a seat on the board with the most votes, 669, according to unofficial results released by the Montezuma County Clerks Office.
Truelsen, owner of The Ponderosa Restaurant, said she was overwhelmed by the voters support.
Thats a real vote of confidence from the community, Truelsen said Wednesday morning inside her restaurant.
Truelsen said she didnt campaign in the election and really didnt even tell her customers to vote for her, but after owning The Ponderosa for nearly 30 years, many knew her name.
Truelsen said her win on the school board was bittersweet because she also learned state Proposition 103 didnt pass. It would have brought some much-needed sales tax money into the district.
There are going to have to be some really tough decisions, Truelsen said.
Truelsen is pleased with Dolores schools and plans to keep up the good work as a school board member.
I like the test scores. I like the teachers, and I like the administration, she said.
McCoy, the coordinator of the Montelores Early Childhood Council, said she was happy to win a four-year term after serving three years already.
She was disappointed that Proposition 103 didnt pass as well.
It means there is going to have to be a lot more work, not only as a school board member, but also as an early childhood council coordinator and a parent of two children in college, McCoy said.
She said there will be less money for preschool and early childhood education and less money for kindergarten through 12th grades. In addition, she said, tuition for college is going to go up because of proposed state cuts.
We are going to have to roll up our sleeves and look at that budget, McCoy said.
McCoy has become accustomed to rolling her sleeves up. She has had to vote on budget cuts during each of her three years on the school board.
It is difficult, she said.
And it is going to keep getting worse. Early estimates show Dolores might have to trim anywhere from $200,000 to $800,000 from its budget.
How bad does it have to get? McCoy said.
McCoy said she is ready to serve Dolores.
As a board member I will strive to keep in place all the things we value in our school: the positive atmosphere and small class sizes and the things that really make a difference for our children and staff, she said.
Kelly said he was happy to learn he earned another term on the school board. He waited at the Montezuma County Clerks Office late Tuesday to find out the news.
We are going to have some challenges ahead, Kelly said.
Kelly is an attorney in Dolores.
I think weve got a good team, he said. Im pretty pleased with that and Im looking forward to get to know Deanna Truelsen a little better.
Kelly said this will be his last term on the school board. After this four-year term, he will be term limited out.
Kelly said he didnt campaign for this election, other than attending the debate and answering questions for the newspaper. The campaign for school board in Dolores was fairly quiet.
Those who ran and didnt earn a seat on the school board were Gary Schwarzkopf with 220 votes, Stanson Mannis with 251 votes and Travis Anderson with 309 votes.