CLEAR Candidates Celebrate Ferndale School Board Sweep
Unofficial results Tuesday night showed Amy Butters, Jim O’Donnell, Raylon Leaks-May and Kevin Deegan-Krause winning four seats on the school board.
It was a night of celebration for four school board candidates and their supporters late Tuesday as unofficial election results came in showing the full "BOLD" slate was elected to the Ferndale school board.
Amy Butters, Jim O’Donnell, Raylon Leaks-May and Kevin Deegan-Krause - newcomers to the board and known as the "BOLD" slate, all endorsed by new political action committee CLEAR - came out on top for four open seats on the Board of Education.
The four, who will make up a new majority on the seven-member board, defeated incumbents Keith Warnick, Jim Pfleger and Katrina Collins along with Brad Parks, who were all endorsed by Ferndale political action committee Citizens for Better Education.
Board vice president Charles Moeser, trustee Nancy Kerr-Mueller and trustee Karen Twomey will remain on the board. Trustee Darcey McLaughlin did not seek another term.
Butters got 18.37 percent of votes, followed by O'Donnell at 17.31 percent, Deegan-Krause at 14.67 percent and Leaks-May at 14.23 percent. They were followed by Collins at 12.2 percent, Warnick at 8.02 percent, Parks at 7.5 percent and Pfleger at 7.09 percent of votes.
Butters and O'Donnell were elected to six-year terms while Deegan-Krause and Leaks-May were elected to four-year terms.
"This is amazing," Leaks-May said Tuesday night at a results party at the Loving Touch. "I'm so proud of this group and I'm so excited for the things that we are going to do."
O'Donnell said he and the other three BOLD candidates had "the issues on our side" and said it was clear voters saw that.
"I'm very happy. I'm happy that all four of us won," he said.
Butters said she is excited to get to work on the issues that matter most to the community and said there will be a lot to take in over the next few months. "I'm so looking forward to it," she said.
"People have really put their faith in us," Butters said.
"I'm just so proud of our community," said resident Barb Landry, a CLEAR founding member. "The votes spoke louder than words ever could. Our community really does believe that we can change ... We made history today."
Deegan-Krause said during a brief speech to supporters Tuesday night that "the hard work starts today."
He said it was time to work together to make the district "one that everyone wants to send their kids to as a first choice."
"Our school district can be as good as our community," he said.
Deegan-Krause also acknowledged the candidates who were not elected. "They are good people who love this community, who want the best for this community," he said.
Katrina Collins said Tuesday night that not being elected to another term doesn't mean she'll stop caring about the district and its students.
"I've always been in this for the kids. I've never been in it for any other reason," she said. "I won't give up on my extra kids [students she helps in the community]. It just won't be on the board."
"We're very disappointed," current school board trustee Darcey McLaughlin said of the election results. She and other CBE supporters were at Imperial on Tuesday night as the results came in. "CBE will continue to be as active as they've always been. CBE will continue to care about this district."
Helen Weber, who was also at Imperial supporting the CBE candidates, said the organization did everything it could and said she was sorry that "it didn't have more impact."
"We did the work that we thought would reach people," she said. Moving forward, she said, "we need to work together for the betterment of the district."