New faces join school board

"Two new faces joined the South Whidbey School District board of directors last Tuesday.In the first board meeting since the Nov. 2 election was certified, the first order of business was the changing of the directors. Stepping down were John Peticolas, who chose not to run again, and Steve Scoles, who lost his bid for re-election to Ray E. Gabelein.The certified election count showed Gabelein with 3,259 votes to 2,606 for Scoles. Winning re-election was Barbara Schneeman, who outpolled challenger David Edgley 3,243 to 1,981.The second new face on the board was that of Bob Riggs, who ran unopposed for his first term and received 3,550 votes.“I’m glad such a big crowd turned out tonight to hear my farewell speech,” quipped Scoles, scanning a large audience that had turned out mainly to complain about the new athletic code. More seriously, Scoles went on to say he had spent “a wonderful four years” on the board. “It was a tremendous experience. I learned a lot about how government and the school board works,” he said.Peticolas said he had grown in his four years on the board. “I’m a stronger and better person as a result,” he said. “And so is the school district.” He described his tenure as “a tough and yet fun four years.”Scoles and Peticolas were often at odds when the board differed. Scoles voted to renew the superintendent’s contract, while Peticolas votes against it. Scoles also cast the lone vote against the athletic code that brought out so much opposition on his final night in a board member’s chair.Superintendent Dr. Lisa Bjork administered the oath of office to Schneeman, Riggs and Gabelein. They all swore to uphold the U.S. and state constitutions and laws, and “faithfully and impartially discharge the duties of the office.”Peticolas and Scoles received plaques thanking them for their service, and stepped down as the crowd gave them a standing ovation.The first order of business for the new board was the election of officers for 2000. In unanimous voting, Jim Adsley was named president, Schneeman vice president, Riggs legislative liaison, and Gabelein liaison to the Washington Interscholastic Athletic Association. Also serving on the newly reconstituted board is Wendy Alexander."

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