The voters in Lansing voted to return some familiar faces to the Lansing School Board Tuesday, along with a new member.
With all precincts reporting, the top three vote-getters in the election for three open seats on the seven-member board were, in order: Beth Stevenson, Sylvia Martens and Rich Hauver, with 297, 294 and 291 votes, respectively. The totals are unofficial until canvassed next week.
That means a third consecutive term on the board for Stevenson, who has served since 2005, including stints as board vice president.
“I thank the voters for supporting me,” she said. “The opportunity to serve is always important to me.”
Stevenson said she is also looking forward to serving alongside new board members as the board oversees what many consider a critical time in the district, including the construction of a $73 million construction project voters approved in November.
“It's going to be really neat to see some of the things we began all the way through,” she said.
Stevenson was the only incumbent running in the field of six candidates ― a field that also included defense contractor Garrett Martin, beef producer and millright Steve Buffo and Lansing High School senior Taylor Wisneski. Neither Bob Nye nor Gary Courtney ran for re-election.
For Hauver, the win means he'll be back on the board after a two-year absence. First elected to the board in 2007, Hauver lost his seat in the election of 2011. He said he was happy to be able to return.
“I feel very fortunate and I'll be honored to serve again,” Hauver said.
That's especially true considering the quality of the field of candidates, he said.
“I've been on both sides of the outcome, and nobody should hang their head,” Hauver said of the effort by all running.
The race is an initial foray into politics for Martens, who is retired from 38 years in the banking industry. She said she is excited to get into the position.
“I'm really proud, I'm elated and I can't wait to get started,” she said.
Not initially knowing what to expect from the final tally, Martens said she felt fortunate to have the opportunity.
“I accept the position,” she said. “I'm very humbled by it and I want to sincerely thank all the voters from the bottom of my heart.”