Moffat County School Board election results are in |

Moffat County School Board election results are in

Lauren Blair

— The Moffat County School District Board of Education turned over four of its seven seats in this year's election. With eight new candidates and no incumbents on the ballot, the election offered voters the opportunity to redefine the board that will address challenging issues such as the budget and student achievement in the coming years.

The hottest competition was for the District 1 seat, which covers the westernmost parts of Craig and Moffat County. Four candidates vied for the seat vacated by Board President JB Chapman.

Darryl Steele won the seat with 1,369 votes and 44 percent of the vote. Other candidates included Amy Shaffer, 769 votes; JNL Linsacum, 539; and Neil Folks, 432.

"There were some other very qualified candidates," Steele said. "It was a little bit divided on philosophy… The way the vote has come out, people have said they want some changes, like a balanced budget."

The other contested seat was in District 3, which JoBeth Tupa took with 1,542 votes and 53 percent of the ballots, as opposed to Travis Linsacum’s 1,347 votes. The seat was previously occupied by Tony St. John, who was term-limited.

"I am eager to take on this proactive role in my community," Tupa said. "I look forward to working with my fellow board members as we continue our movement toward academic excellence."

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New board members Jo Ann Baxter and Charity Neal ran unopposed for seats in districts 5 and 7, respectively, which were vacated by Joel Browning and KC Hume.

Voters could cast their vote for candidates in all four districts regardless of their own place of residence, Moffat County Clerk and Recorder Lila Herod explained. The districts exist to ensure the board includes representatives from different parts of Moffat County.

The newly elected board members now make up a majority of the school board, and will play a critical role in determining how the district moves forward with hot topics like the budget, boosting achievement and answering teachers' calls for better resources. The four new members join existing board members Darrell Camilletti, Tony Peroulis and Sue Voloshin.

"I think everybody (ran) for the right reasons," Baxter said of fellow candidates. "(The issues are) pretty daunting, but I think if we can all work together as a team, we can begin to solve some of the problems that are facing us."

Baxter brings eight years of school board experience with her after serving two terms from 2003 to 2011. Steele also brings with him years of board experience serving as a Moffat County Commissioner, a member of The Memorial Hospital Board of Trustees and several other boards.

Among the big decisions that will come before the board first are how to proceed with changes to the school district's health insurance, and whether or not the school district should seek a mill levy override to help meet budget shortfalls in the coming years.

"Any time you're making a budget, it's going to be a challenge," Steele said. "It's going to take a lot of work and cooperation between the board and superintendent… I hope we'll move things forward and make a good, quality education for our students."

Contact Lauren Blair at 970-875-1794 or or follow her on Twitter @CDP_Education.

Moffat County School Board Election Results

Of 3,294 total ballots cast, the votes were tallied as follows:

District 1

Darryl Steele, 1,369; 44 percent

Amy Shaffer, 769; 25 percent

JNL Linsacum, 539; 17 percent

Neil Folks, 432; 14 percent

— 3,109 ballots

District 3

JoBeth Tupa, 1,542; 53 percent

Travis Linsacum, 1,347; 45 percent

— 2,889 ballots

District 5

Jo Ann Baxter (uncontested) 2,200; 100 percent

—2,200 ballots

District 7

Charity Neal (uncontested) 2,180; 100 percent

— 2,180 ballots