Marty Anderson, running to represent Sterling and Funny River on the school board, has retained his seat, according to unofficial election results posted Tuesday night.
Anderson, who led challenger Marilyn Pawluk by 14 votes, 405 to 391, said he would wait until the absentee votes were counted before declaring victory in the Seat 5 race.
“I think that education really is the foundation of democracy. I think it is critical that we have well-balanced representation on the school board, with different walks of life and different socioeconomic backgrounds,” Anderson said. “If I do win, that’s great. I’m excited about serving three more years. But I want to congratulate Marilyn as well to stand up and make that investment of time and effort.”
While Pawluk had an edge among Sterling voters, 291 to 273, Anderson was a 132 to 100 winner in Funny River.
Anderson offered encouragement to Pawluk, as well as the rest of the community, to continue to be involved in the peninsula’s public schools.
Pawluk said as a parent she will continue to be active in schools but didn’t know if she would run again for a school board seat.
She said she hopes the school board will address the need for more career and technical education opportunities, an issue she raised during the campaign.
“They need to concentrate on getting kids some skills before they get out of high school. That was the issue that just about everybody felt was important,” Pawluk said.
Also retaining their seats on the school board Tuesday were Bill Hatch, representing Kenai, and Liz Downing, representing Homer. Both were elected to three-year terms.
Lynn Hohl was elected to a one-year term representing the eastern peninsula.
Hatch, Downing and Hohl all were running uncontested.
Anderson said he, along with the rest of the school board, will continue to visit more schools in the coming year in order to learn more about the specific needs at each location. Anderson said he also will continue to lobby the Legislature to change the area cost differential formula, the method by which school funding is distributed.
“That’s key for us. If we don’t, it will just be a war of attrition where we take various programs in various areas to compensate. It really is eroding our school district,” he said.
Will Morrow can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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