FAYETTEVILLE — Voters elected a fitness studio owner to a seat representing the entire School District. An appointed School Board member won a bid to move from the at-large seat to a five-year term representing Zone 1, according to final, unofficial results from Tuesday’s school election.
In the contest for the at-large seat, Megan T.R. Hurley received 891 votes (55.8 percent), while Maria Baez de Hicks drew 707 votes (44.2 percent), according to final, unofficial results from the Washington County Election Commission.
Farmington School Board results
• Amy Hill, 278 votes (75.5 percent)
• Jay Moore, 90 votes (24.5 percent)
Source: Washington County Election Commission
In the election for Zone 1, 455 votes (78.2 percent) went to School Board member Nika Waitsman, while Farla Steele-Treat received 127 votes (21.8 percent).
The Fayetteville School Board election drew participation from nearly 1,598 of the 57,367 voters who were eligible to vote for the at-large seat, while 582 of the 13,108 voters cast ballots for the Zone 1 race, according to the Washington County Election Commission.
Hurley, 37, has said she considered running for School Board at the encouragement of Justin Minkel, a Springdale School District teacher who lives in Fayetteville and was state teacher of the year in 2007, she said. She has a mix of experiences as a business owner and former teacher who spent four years each at a public New York City high school and at Kipp Delta Collegiate High School in Helena.
"I'm grateful to everyone who came out to vote and so looking forward to continuing to learn from and serve Fayetteville kids, teachers and families," Hurley said.
Baez de Hicks said she congratulates Hurley and thanks voters who participated.
“Our campaign did great work and just ended up a bit short,” Baez de Hicks said. “I look forward to seeing Megan drive change and progress in our schools.”
Waitsman was appointed in October to finish out the unexpired term of former School Board member Jim Halsell, who resigned because he moved out of state. Zone 1 incumbent Steve Percival didn’t run for re-election, and Waitsman decided to run for his seat instead. Her campaign was a team effort, she said.
“I am honored by, and thankful for the confidence that Fayetteville Zone 1 voters have placed in me,” Waitsman said. “I already feel very personally invested in this role, and so I am glad for the opportunity to continue serving.”
Waitsman, 49, has a long history of involvement in nonprofit causes, and her interest in the School Board stems from being an active volunteer within the School District, she has said.
Hurley and Waitsman both have children in the district.
Steele-Treat said the experience gave her the opportunity to hear about educational issues affecting Fayetteville residents.
"Despite having not been elected, I am pleased with the voter turnout and appreciate those who encouraged me to run for School Board," Steele-Treat said.
The Election Commission will certify the results Sept. 30, said Jennifer Price, Washington County election coordinator.
Print Headline: Voters choose School Board candidates