Four new faces will join the seven-member Dayton school board in January, as the lone incumbent seeking re-election lost Tuesday night.
Three of the four “slate” candidates who worked together and were endorsed by Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley appeared to win election by finishing in the top four, according to unofficial final results from the Montgomery County Board of Elections.
They were top vote-getter William Harris, No. 2 finisher Mohamed Al-Hamdani and No. 4 Karen Wick-Gagnet. Also winning election was third-place finisher Jocelyn Rhynard, an involved DPS parent who has been a regular at school board meetings.
TONIGHT: Get live election results here
Incumbent Joe Lacey was about 200 votes behind Wick-Gagnet in fifth, and final slate member Paul Bradley was another 300 votes back in sixth. Then there was a drop-off to Ann Marie (Mario) Gallin and Jo’el Jones in seventh and eighth.
The election comes at a crucial time.
Over a tumultuous last 15 months, Dayton Public Schools replaced most of its top leadership, saw millions in new funding allocated for preschool, and had some great moments — escaping the threat of state takeover via better student growth scores, solving some long-running busing problems and improving textbooks, computer access and career tech options.
But during that same period, the district was put on a major OHSAA probation for trying to rig a football game, had a long, painful contract fight with teachers that nearly led to a strike and, this fall, ranked second to last in Ohio on state test scores.
The four winners in Tuesday night’s election will join current board members Robert Walker, John McManus and Sheila Taylor, who are halfway through their four-year terms. Other incumbents Hazel Rountree, Ron Lee and Adil Baguirov decided not to run for re-election, and will leave the board in January.
UNOFFICIAL VOTE TOTALS
William E Harris Jr. — 8,385 — 14.68%
Mohamed Al-Hamdani — 7,885 — 13.81%
Jocelyn Rhynard — 7,883 — 13.80%
Karen Wick-Gagnet — 7,674 — 13.44%
Joe Lacey — 7,473 — 13.08%
Paul Bradley — 7,160 — 12.54%
Ann Marie Gallin — 5,860 — 10.26%
Jo’el Jones — 4,795 — 8.40%