Pine School: Voters Pick One Incumbent And Two Newcomers

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The only incumbent running for the Pine-Strawberry School District easily retained her seat Tuesday. Two new people will join her on the five-member board, which faces the daunting task of picking a new superintendent later this year.

Incumbent Margaret Parker led the candidates in votes Tuesday, receiving 826.

Jessica Barnett and Rick Weiss had the second and third highest vote counts, while Melissa McNeeley had the least.

This will be Parker’s third term and the continuation of her family’s tradition of serving on the board.

She served with her father on the board more than 25 years ago.

Both she and her father were raised in the area and went to school in Pine.

Parker said she is anxious to find a new superintendent, with Mike Clark retiring after eight years.

In fact, picking a new superintendent was the main reason most of the candidates chose to run.

“It would be great to be part of the decision,” McNeeley said.

Weiss said he wants to hire somebody with business management skills like Clark.

All of the candidates said they were happy with how the district had been run and hoped to keep it on track.

“It’s not like I’m running because of controversy,” Weiss said.

Parker said she believes the board has done a good job working with parents, teachers and students.

“If something happens, we’re always transparent,” she said.

Besides hiring a new superintendent, her main goal is keeping the district within budget so they do not have to raise property taxes.

Barnett, who served on the Pine school board before, said she is happy to rejoin the group.

“I enjoyed my terms when I was on the board and chose to run again,” she said. “I feel that I can have a positive influence.”

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