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D-424 gets new board members

Published: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 11:28 p.m. CDT • Updated: Tuesday, April 9, 2013 11:35 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Erik Anderson for Shaw Media)
District #424 Superintendent Joe Burgess speaks with school board member Dale Pelley about the amended budget on topic during the school board meeting at Genoa-Kingston High School on Tuesday, April 9, 2013.

GENOA – Four new members hope to bring a different perspective to the Genoa-Kingston School District 424 board when they are seated in two weeks.

Kristin Brynteson, Heather Edwards, Kerri Sosnowski and Taunya Fischer each secured a spot on the board Tuesday after the unofficial election results for each candidate were reported.

Brynteson led the pack with 23.6 percent of the vote. Edwards followed with 23.1 percent, Sosnowski had 22 percent and Fischer had 20.8 percent.

The fifth candidate, current school board President Dale Pelley, who was the only incumbent in the race, was not re-elected. He received 10.4 percent of the votes.

“I’m honored to have been elected,” Brynteson said. “I’m excited and looking forward to the opportunity to serve my community in this capacity.”

The new board members will face some challenges early on as the district currently is operating with a $400,000 projected deficit for the next school year.

The deficit originally was projected at around $1 million, but the board made budget cuts to reduce it by about $600,000.

Some of the cuts proved unpopular, including the plan to eliminate the freshman sports programs at Genoa-Kingston High School and lay off 14 teachers, many of them in art and music programs.

“[The district’s financial problems are] such a complicated issue and right now it’s all about gathering information in order to make a good decision,” Brynteson said.

Brynteson said before she takes any action, she wants to make sure she soaks up as much knowledge about the board’s situation as she can.

“My first agenda to get things started is to go in and learn and understand as much as I can so I can make good informed decisions to make our school district the best it can be,” she said.

Edwards, Sosnowski, Fischer and Pelley could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday night.

The newly elected board members officially will take their positions at the next school board meeting on April 30.

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