Nov. 9 – TRAVERSE CITY – Eight candidates were vying for four open seats on the Traverse City-area public schools board, but Erica Moon Mohr, Andrew Raymond, Holly T. Bird and Beth Pack came out on top, according to a unofficial election. results.
Moon Mohr garnered the most votes, with 18,777, and Bird was close behind with 18,444. Moon Mohr was a frontrunner in Grand Traverse and Leelanau counties, but Bird got the most votes from Benzie County.
Raymond finished third with 14,001 votes and Pack won 12,632 votes.
This will be Moon Mohr’s second full term on the board and Raymond’s first full term on the board. He was appointed in 2020.
Incumbents Matt Anderson and Sue Kelly did not seek re-election.
Moon Mohr said she was excited to continue serving on the board, which she said has a lot of momentum, especially with the recently created and implemented strategic plan.
“As the election approached, I said to myself: ‘What if I am not elected?’ said Moon Mohr. “It just made me feel like I had so much work left to do and we’re moving in such a good direction right now that I’m excited for what the next four years have in store for us.”
Although the county election results came down late at night, she saw some of the results come in real time, and it was exciting to see the community support she had enjoyed throughout the campaign. materialize, she said.
Bird said she was thrilled and honored to be elected to the school board and was pleasantly surprised by the number of votes she received, especially during her first campaign. She plans to focus on what is in the best interest of the children, such as giving them access to a healthy learning environment, during her time as a council member.
Bird also said that as an Indigenous person, she said she would be an important addition to board conversations about diversity, equity, and inclusion, a conversation that she says will go a long way. align with the current district strategic plan.
Bird said she also hopes the board can move forward without interference from political agendas.
Raymond said he was “incredibly humbled and honoured” to be elected to the school board.
Raymond said he looks forward to continuing to build on the positive momentum of the past few months, including implementing the district’s new strategic plan.
“I’m really looking forward to focusing on the kids again and making TCAPS the best district it can be,” Raymond said.
Pack said she was surprised she won, especially because she had never campaigned before.
As a board member, Pack said she wanted to make sure COVID recovery was a major issue. She said she felt there was a lot of work ahead of her, such as familiarizing herself with current board work and learning Robert’s rules of procedure.
She wants to make sure students do well in school and benefit from it, become more aware of how many students are struggling academically, and what disciplinary practices look like in the school district.
Matthew Hanley, who came out with 12,528 votes at the end, closely trailed Pack by just over 100 votes.
Hanley said he was disappointed not to be in the top four, but he believes the elected candidates will help move the school district forward.
“They will serve the community and the school district extremely well,” he said.
The campaign has been a learning experience, Hanley said, and he currently has no plans to run for the school board in the next election, which is expected to be in 2024.
Behind Hanley were Nicholas Roster with 12,335 votes, Justin VanRheenen with 9,651 votes and Misten Boysen with 8,765 votes.
VanRheenen said he was disappointed with the results, as he hoped to work with the board in a more formal capacity, aside from the activist work he does leading TCAPS Transparency in Education and reaching out. the hand to the members of the council to express his opinion. on certain policies and decisions. He said he plans to continue this work, but he does not know if he will run for office in the next school board elections.
He added that he had full confidence in the candidates who were elected.
Boysen said she was also disappointed with the final results as she hoped to stand up for her children and their education, but she already has plans to run in the next school board elections. Boysen also plans to become more involved in her children’s schools and devote more of her time to TCAPS in the meantime, she said.
Considering that and the fact that this was her first campaign and some events in her personal life prevented her from campaigning more and sooner, it was a good run, she said. .
“I congratulate all of the other nominees and wish them luck,” Boysen said. “Let’s hope they do well for Traverse City.”
Roster said he didn’t have time to comment on the election results on Wednesday.