Gogins, Traynor, Shaw win seats on the school boardAlex Holmquist
On Election Day, School District 623 was one of many school districts across Minnesota to receive voter approval of a levy referendum.
About 68 percent of those who cast ballots voted in favor of the levy request, according to unofficial results. The eight-year operating levy will generate $1,505 per student in the district and will increase annually with the rate of inflation. The current operating levy, which generates $1,575 per pupil, will expire in June of next year.
There won’t be a school tax increase in 2015, and operating levy taxes payable in 2015 for homes valued between $200,000 and $350,000 will actually be reduced by $1.
Roseville Area Schools also held a school board election for three open seats last week, and those who were elected said they were thrilled to see the levy pass.
Incumbent Kitty Gogins, Mark Traynor and Frank Shaw won spots on the board.
Gogins had the highest number of votes at 3,819, and was trailed closely by Traynor, who had 3,789 votes. Shaw, who has previously served on the Roseville School Board, defeated fellow challenger Mike Boguszewski by about a 5 percent margin.
Traynor, who currently serves as chairman of the Roseville Area Schools Foundation, congratulated Gogins and Shaw and said he was grateful for the support from voters.
“I’m humbled by the community’s support and I look forward to making sure all of our students have a chance to fulfill their potential as learners,” Traynor said.
Gogins, who has served on the school board for eight years, said she was grateful to have been reelected to office. Her top priorities, she said, will continue to be raising achievement for all students while closing the achievement gap, doing that in a fiscally responsible manor, and increasing community engagement.
“I believe our students are our future and I’m glad we have a community that feels the same way,” Gogins added.
Shaw said he’s also pleased with the direction in which the school district is headed.
“I have no beef with what the district is doing,” Shaw said, adding that the board will need to continue to be mindful of the changing demographics in the district. He noted the integration of Harambee Elementary School into the district was a major addition that he believes will need to continue to be a top priority.
Shaw said he will prepare to serve on the board by attending some school board and committee meetings and meet with principals in the district before he takes office.
Shaw and Gogins also said a likely challenge for the board in the near future will be to hire a new superintendent to replace longtime superintendent Dr. John Thein, who they noted extended his contract by one year last June.