GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) - Challengers ousted two incumbents on the Grand Rapids schoolboard Monday night.
Former Grand Rapids Public Schools teacher and administratorMaureen Quinn Slade topped the field of five candidates, receivingsupport from 36 percent of voters after all precincts werecounted.
Fellow challenger Jon O'Connor, a neighborhood associationleader and real estate appraiser, finished in second with 25percent.
Slade and O'Connor, who were the two candidates endorsed by theteachers union, will take seats on the board effective July 1.
The two will replace third-term board member Amy McGlynn, whotook 20 percent of the vote, and first-term member Harry Campbell,who won support from 10 percent of voters.
Another challenger, Roger McClary, finished with 9 percentsupport.
O'Connor told 24 Hour News 8 his victory "feels great. I'm happyand excited. There's a lot of work to do, but I think I'm up to thechallenge."
Priority number one, he said, will be communication. O'Connorsaid the district's plan for more online and blended instruction --a mix of traditional and online -- has been a bit of a "movingtarget. It's changed week to week here, from board meeting to boardmeeting."
The board member-elect said he wanted to get a look at thedistrict's proposed budget.
But O'Connor and Slade, who has also questioned the proposalsfor more online and blended classes in GRPS, will not likely have avote on the 2010-11 budget, which, according to state law, must bepassed before the two take office.
Campbell and McGlynn will, in all likelihood, vote on thebudget. Both have been largely supportive of the changes, thoughCampbell has said he has some concerns.
Asked by 24 Hour News 8 what she thought happened in the race,McGlynn, who has served on the board since 2000, said she thoughtpeople were not ready for change.
"I think that's the biggest thing," she told 24 Hour News 8."The unfortunate problem is that change is going to happen anyway.There is no money to run the program that they've had. And with thenew reports coming out on the level of failures in the highschools, there will have to be change. It will be mandated. Changewill happen."
McGlynn said she hoped to stay involved in education, possiblyby serving as a tutor in the schools.
It might be December but that is not stopping some people from "hanging 10" in Michigan.
A driver escaped safely after its vehicle crashed into the Grand River in Ottawa County Friday morning.
We get a brief break from the "lake-effect machine" Friday.