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Friday, Apr. 29, 2016

Incumbent loses USD 234 seat

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

In the lone contested race for the Fort Scott USD 234 School Board Tuesday night, incumbent Belynda Davenport was well behind the pack in her unsuccessful bid to keep her sixth position seat, finishing behind Jamie Armstrong and Kevin "Skitch" Allen, according to unofficial totals.

Armstrong won somewhat comfortably, garnering almost 44 percent of the vote (613) to Allen's 37 percent (515). Davenport finished with a little less than 17 percent of the vote (275).

Allen was vocal in his support of interscholastic sports at Fort Scott Middle School, while Armstrong has said she would bring a "well-rounded view" to the school board and wants to move Fort Scott to the top of the list among area schools. She said she will listen to all sides in order to make the best decisions.

She said she supports Superintendent Diane Gross and her efforts and feels her professional management experience will be an asset to the board.

Armstrong, a financial advisor for Edward Jones Investments, said the district has "delayed serious financial decisions over the last several years" that have put the schools in a financial crisis and that tough decisions will need to be made to move the district forward.

Armstrong's husband, Jeff Armstrong is a teacher and coach at FSHS.

Michelle Parker ran uncontested for the fourth position, vacated by Ken Reinbolt and received 1,084 votes. Gary Billionis ran uncontested for the fifth position, formerly held by Steve Floyd and tallied 1,125 votes.

USD 234's seven member board is comprised of three districts, with two representatives from each and one at-large position. Every other spring, one seat in each district is contested. The board seats are staggered, four-year terms.

USD 234 position one occupied by Justin Meeks, position 2 by Michelle Hudiburg and position 3 by President Janet Braun and Vice President Jordan Witt's at-large position, will come open in spring 2015.

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