SIDNEY — New board members will take office in four local school districts after winning the General Election Tuesday. All results are unofficial until the votes are certified.
For Sidney City Schools, Linda Meininger and Jason Schaffner were elected to office. Unofficial totals showed Meininger receiving 2,337 votes with Schaffner with 1,811 votes. Chad Gessler received 1,707 votes. Incumbents Paul Heins and Bill Ankney chose not to seek re-election.
“I’m overwhelmed,” said Meininger after the results were all in. “I’m very grateful to the voters.”
Meininger said she was surprised at the number of votes she received.
“I wasn’t campaigning for this,” said Meininger. “I told people I won’t go through anymore campaigns like I did before.”
Schaffner didn’t learn of the final results until he received a phone call from the SDN.
“I’m in Missouri,” he said. “I got sent to Oklahoma on Monday. I just got off the phone with my wife and she had been checking but couldn’t find any results.”
Schaffner said he feels good about winning the seat on the BOE.
“It’s always a surprise when you run for office,” said Schaffner. “You have to have confidence and you wonder if you’ve done enough to win.
“I feel it’s my duty as a citizen to tun. You have to take a chance. I’m excited to win,” he said.
In Anna, Mike Ambos and incumbents Jason Fogt and Matthew Murray received the most votes. Ambos received 784 votes while Fogt received 764 votes. Incumbent Matthew Murray received 597 votes. Timothy Stroh received 465 votes.
“I’m excited,” said Ambos. “I’m thankful for the people who came out to vote for me. The key word is ‘excited.’ I just found out from you (that he’d been elected).”
Ambos said he’s glad to be joining a “good group of people who are doing good” in the school district.
“I want to help them continue to do that,” he said.
In Fairlawn, Shelly Ginter and incumbents Rita Gilfillen and Andrew Brautigam were the top vote getters. Ginter received 349 votes, Gilfillen received 343 votes and Brautigam received 308 votes. Hope Abke received 281 votes. Incumbent Anthony Bensman didn’t seek re-election.
“I’m honored, very honored,” said Ginter as she read the results from the race. “I don’t know what the ropes are (to being a board member). I’m going to learn from those who came before me. I’m very excited to do the job I was elected to do.”
In Hardin-Houston, Christine Helman, Barri Jill Grandey and incumbent Bill Clark were elected to office. Helman was the top vote-getter with 587 votes. Grandey received 567 votes and Clark had 563 votes. Incumbent Stephen Mowery received 459 votes. Incumbent Wesley Maier didn’t seek re-election.
“I’m thrilled, just thrilled,” said Grandey.
While she’s exited about joining the board of education, she’s said that Mowery didn’t get re-elected.
“Steve has done an awesome job for us,” said Grandey. “I hate that Steve will be leaving us. He’s been a great asset for Hardin-Houston.”
A retired teacher, Grandey will now be taking on a new role with the school district.
“Mr. Scheu said he’s glad I’m not on his board. He was my superintendent when I was teaching,” she said. “I’m blessed that the Hardin-Houston people who came out to show their support for me.”
She also congratulated fellow newcomer Helman to the board.
“Christina did great,” she said. “She’s a former student of mine. Many of the administration and staff are former students.”
Helman said she was honored to be elected to the board.
“I’m honored the community chose me to represent them,” said Helman. “I will do my very best for them.”
Being the top vote getter, said Helman, makes “me feel humble because so there was so much support for me. I’m honored and humbled so many people supported me and voted for me.”
Clark said he’s honored that the community chose him to continue as a board member.
“I’m happy the voters trusted me to do another term,” he said.
Reach the writer at 937-538-4822.