By Denise Dick
It was a mixed bag for incumbents in Mahoning County school board races.
The city school board will have three new members beginning next year. Jerome Williams, Jackie Adair and Ronald Shadd won the seats, garnering 27.8 percent, 27.2 percent and 24 percent, respectively, according to unofficial election results. Hattie Wilkins received 19 percent, and longtime board member Lock P. Beachum Sr., who ran as a write-in candidate, got 351 votes.
Rachel Hanni and Andrea Mahone didn’t seek re-election.
“I am going to pursue extending the school day and the school year through the governor’s office,” Adair said. “Gov. [John] Kasich’s office has said he is looking for more hours in the classroom, and he’s said he’s waiting for us to ask for help from him. He wants to help us.”
Adair, 68, who is self-employed, said she knows that won’t happen this school year but she hopes to have it in place next year.
Williams, 51, is a Mahoning County deputy sheriff. He couldn’t be reached Tuesday night.
Shadd, 37, a consultant and community advocate, said that as a school board member, he wants to help the community have a better understanding of the school district’s plans to improve student achievement, to gain support to help children with extracurricular activities.
In Austintown, incumbent Kathy Mock won with 20.7 percent of the vote, on a crowded ballot that included nine other candidates. She’ll be joined next year by two former members, Louis Chine Jr. and Kenneth Jakubec, who received 14 percent and 18 percent of the vote, respectively.
The other incumbent in the race, David Schnurrenberger, garnered 13.5 percent of the vote.
Challengers Dennis Hileman got 4 percent, Fred Marcum got 5 percent, Robert Kornack, 9 percent; Jim Sobien, 7 percent; Janet Hartman, 6 percent; and Dominic Delmonte, 2 percent.
Current member Tom Stellers didn’t seek re-election.
“I plan to bring back the openness and the trust we used to have,” said Jakubec, who served on the board from 1987 to 2003.
He said the board needs to seek more input from the faculty and from the community in making decisions.
In Boardman, voters opted to retain two incumbents and replace a third.
In a tight race, Kimberly Poma got 23 percent and John Landers, 22 percent. But Mark Fulks, who was a board member for 16 years, lost to political newcomer Vickie Davis.
Davis, who works in the township fire department, received 22 percent of the vote to Fulks’ 21 percent. Challenger Frank Zetts got 10 percent.
Fulks said Davis ran a good campaign and had a lot of community support.
“I’m sure the new board will do just great,” he said. “At least I’m leaving the board with the school system in great financial shape. I’m sure they will do a great job. There’s still a lot of experience on the board with Kim [Poma], Fred Davis and Nik Amstutz.”
In Poland, incumbents Richard Beau Weaver and Dr. Larry Dinopoulos fended off a challenge from Maureen Rothrauff.
Dinopoulos earned 41 percent of the vote. Weaver got 36 percent and Rothrauff, 21 percent.
Dinopoulos said the district is excited about its new superintendent, David Janofa, who started last August.
“I think you’re going to see some new things happening,” he said.
With declining enrollment in district elementary schools, the superintendent is considering a study to determine if consolidating some grade levels would makes sense, Dinopoulos said. The district isn’t looking at closing school buildings, he said.