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Votes

Five Incumbents Return To School

Newcomers eager to start work.

The Alexandria School Board will have five incumbents and four newcomers. Voters cast just over 38,000 votes for the 12 School Board candidates. “

That is just about one and a half votes for School Board candidates per voter,” said Tom Parkins, the city’s Registrar of Voters.

In District A, the east end of the city, incumbent Sally Ann Baynard was the top vote getter, followed by Melissa Luby and Arthur Smolz, both newcomers, who received exactly the same number of votes.

In District B, the central district, there were five candidates, four of them incumbents. The top vote getter was incumbent Mark Wilkoff, followed by incumbents Molly Danforth and Mark Eaton. Incumbent Susan Johnson was not re-elected and newcomer Arthur Peabody, Jr, lost in his bid for a seat.

“We ran a very good campaign and I am obviously pleased with the results,” Wilkoff said. “I am looking forward to the next three years. We have a lot of important work to do.”

Danforth also expressed her pleasure at winning. “The fact that all of the incumbents won indicates that people didn’t really want a change,” she said. “We obviously have some things that we need to work on. Communications, both internal and external, is one of those. We need to do a better job at getting our message out to the community. That is going to be particularly important with T. C. Williams.”

THERE WERE only three candidates in District C, the city’s west end, so they ran uncontested. Ronnie Campbell mounted a write-in candidacy that netted only around 390 votes. The winners were incumbent Gwendolyn Lewis and newcomers Charles Wilson and Kenneth Foran.

Campbell had planned to run but did not complete the required paperwork in time to be on the ballot. “While that was an easy decision because the law is very clear, it was difficult because no one likes to see uncontested political races,” Parkins said.

Foran is excited about the challenges ahead. “I’m very pleased, of course,” he said. “T. C. Williams is, and should remain the centerpiece of the city. As a Board member, I want to work with my colleagues to see that it is built to serve the students of the city for the next 40 to 50 years. I am also concerned about accreditation.”

The new School Board will be sworn in in July.