There will be no new faces serving on the Wawasee Community School Corp. Board of Trustees. Incumbents Mike Wilson, the current board president, and George Gilbert were re-elected Tuesday.
Wilson (District 1) received the most votes of any of the five candidates running with 3, 214 total. Gilbert (District 2) was second with 2,700. Two at-large seats were being contested and since the top two vote getters were from different districts they were the winners. Other vote totals were 2,435 for Brent Robinson (District 1), 2,362 for Heidi Rozow (District 3) and 1,634 for Brandy Maney (District 2).
Wilson received the most votes overall, including in Tippecanoe Township where he lives with 1,270. Gilbert had 973 votes, Robinson, who also lives in Tippecanoe Township, had 837 votes, Rozow 742 and Maney 624 in that same township.
Wilson also had the most votes in two of the remaining three townships. In Turkey Creek, he had 1,273 votes to 1,163 for Gilbert, 1,011 for Robinson, 955 for Rozow and 678 for Maney. Wilson narrowly took Van Buren Township, too, despite that being the township of residence for challenger Rozow. Wilson had 612 votes, while Rozow had 605, Robinson 542, Gilbert 509 and Maney 313.
In the eastern portion of Jefferson Township, Rozow barely edged Wilson with 60 votes to 59, while Gilbert had 55, Robinson 45 and Maney 19.
Voter turnout was high in a presidential election year with several precincts reporting a turnout rate in the high 60 percent range or even 70 percent or more in a few of the precincts.
Wilson, who lost in the 2010 election to Rob Fisher but was reappointed to the board to replace the late Dallas Winchester, said he could not think of one particular reason helping him get re-elected. “I’ve been on both sides of it,” he said. “I’ve won one and lost one.”
He said the school board deals with several issues and to choose one in particular as being a factor in his campaign would be very difficult. However, he did note the concern about State Superintendent of Public Instruction Dr. Tony Bennett, who was defeated in his bid for re-election, may have struck a chord with some voters.
Wilson has expressed concerns about how testing data is used by schools and Bennett had favored increasing use of that data.
Gilbert has served on the school board since 2004 and said he also could not think of a particular reason to help him earn another four years on the board. “I don’t know if experience made a difference or not,” he said. “I have been in school administration before.”
He is also concerned about decisions made at the state level affecting public education and believes Bennett’s policies were reducing what local control is left.
Wilson and Gilbert will be sworn in officially during the January 2013 school board meeting.