BELLVILLE — Incumbent board members Lori McKee and Gary McCue secured the votes to finish two unexpired terms on the Clear Fork Valley Local School District’s board of education.
Residents were able to vote for two of the three candidates. According to final, unofficial vote totals from the Richland County Board of Elections, a total of 2,449 votes were cast. McCue received 973 votes. McKee received 855 votes. Wesley Dingus garnered 621 votes.
McKee was appointed to the school board in May 2018 to fill the unexpired term of Jennifer Stallard through Dec. 31, 2019. She currently serves as the vice president of finance and business services at North Central State College.
McKee believes her financial background and the fact she was already serving on the school board were key factors to her success.
“I am honored to be able to continue to serve the students of the Clear Fork district,” McKee said. “I’m just going to continue to put students first and foremost in all decisions I make.”
McCue was appointed to the board in July following the resignation of former board president Kyle Beveridge. He currently works for the Ohio Air National Guard in Columbus and was formerly commander of the Ohio Air National Guard’s 179th Airlift Wing.
McCue believes personal and digital outreach by him and his wife were the key to winning the vote.
“Social media. Getting out and about at different events and meeting different people,” he said.
McCue’s goal is to maintain the current success of the district.
“In the four months that I’ve been on it’s been great. It’s a great team … we have great teachers, great students, the whole district is doing really well right now and we’re just going to continue that and keep the ball rolling,” he said.
Dingus stated he would not do anything differently in regards to his campaign.
“I appreciate those that voted for me and I appreciate those that didn’t because at least they got out and voted,” Dingus said. “I do plan on going (to school board meetings) and at least expressing some of the thoughts that I had, whether they’re implemented or not.
"Maybe there’s somebody else who had the same concern but they don’t want to voice it."
Dingus added that he is happy he can continue to serve on the Village of Butler council, since he would have had to resign if he’d won a school board seat.
“However, I can serve this community in the Valley I will do until I can’t take another step or another breath,” he said.
Both McCue and McKee will finish out the terms they were appointed to, sitting on the board for two more years. They join current school board president Amy Weekly as well as current board member Carl Gonzalez and newcomer Ryan Knuckles, who ran unopposed for two available four-year terms.