Results mixed in a hotly contested school board race

WELLSBORO – The Southern Tioga School District Board saw mixed results in the race for three open directors seats in a hotly-contested race over a controversial school consolidation issue.

According to unofficial election results, in Region 1, Stephen J. Guillaume, who won a ballot spot in May, failed to oust Stephen Hall, incumbent from Blossburg, who ran a successful write-in campaign.

Guillaume received only 138 votes, losing by a landslide to Hall, who received 367 votes.

Hall campaigned on the platform “to ensure equal opportunities for all of the students in the district.”

“I support fiscal responsibility for our taxpayers and vo-tech opportunities for our students,” Hall said.

In Region 2, two candidates won the seats left vacant by Barb Shull and Sue Jaquish.

John Ritter, of Mansfield, who won the ballot spot in May, received 588 votes, James D. Kreger, of Morris Township, received 556 votes and 308 votes were cast for either Todd Berguson or Kim Sexauer.

“As a concerned citizen, I have been an advocate for the taxpayer I will continue this role. I look forward to being a watchdog for the taxpayer,” Ritter said.

Kreger said he will “strive to make the school board more transparent and open to public input. The board needs to use a common sense approach by carefully looking at all of the options when making important educational and financial decisions such as school closings.”

In Region 3, Sean Bartlett, a challenger, won the four-year seat with 450 votes over incumbent Frank Kollar, who received 126 write-in votes.

John Martin, incumbent, ran unopposed for a two-year seat winning, with 278 votes.

“The school board should protect taxpayers, students and staff. The district needs to openly and transparently make decisions which engage and empower all stakeholders to come up with creative solutions to meet 21st century needs. As a successful technology consultant who has been attending board meetings for years, my expertise and experience with finances, technology, and the issues impacting the district should make me a good choice to participate in making decisions which will stop wasting taxpayer monies and which will enable staff and students to focus on quality education,” Bartlett said.

Official write-in results will not be counted until Friday.