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Incumbents ousted in Yough

| Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Members of a citizens group have captured the top five spots on both the Democratic and Republican ballots in the race for Yough School Board, according to unofficial election results.

Incumbents Dave Simpson, Lynne Hawkins and Sherry Brown were defeated.

"I think people are ready for a change," said Nancy McClaren, one of the founders of Families Against Closing Schools, who cruised to victory in a crowded field of 13 candidates. "The issues need to be addressed."

With all precincts reporting, McClaren, Ruth Bisko, Dwayne Koget, Diane Appolonia and Gregg Nogy were the victors.

Five school board members will be elected in November.

The race for the nominations was marked by a controversial proposal to close West Newton Elementary School and the possibility of an increase in school taxes. School officials figured they could save about $600,000 by closing the West Newton facility.

McClaren, 36, a registered nurse, said, "The voters have spoken. They see what is going on" in the district.

McClaren said she was persuaded to seek election after West Newton Elementary was targeted.

Meanwhile, other area school board races posted some contrasting results as incumbents did well in some districts, while in others newcomers pulled some surprising victories.

Unofficial primary election results for various school boards in the Mid-Mon Valley are as follows:

In another Westmoreland County school board race, four incumbents and one appointed director won their bids for re-election in the Monessen School District. There were five, four-year seats open.

Current board President Marilyn Pivarnik led the race for the Democratic nod with 1,050 votes.

Following Pivarnik, the top vote-getters were: Jack Howell, 857; Roberta Caruso Bergstedt, 844; Norbert J. Vesely, 785; and Joseph Gigliotti, 724. Rounding out the votes were newcomers Brett A. Lepresti, 716; Mark Panicucci, 579; and Donna Fantauzzi, 566.

Fantauzzi ran unopposed for the Democratic nod for one, two-year seat.

There were no Republicans on the ballot.

Also in Westmoreland County, three incumbents apparently failed to retain their seats on the Yough School Board.

Sherry Brown, Betty Lynne Hawkins and Dave Simpson all came up short on both the Democratic and Republican tickets.

Brown came in with 426 Democratic votes and 187 Republican tallies. Hawkins had 323 Democratic votes and 192 Republican. Simpson garnered 240 Democratic votes and 149 Republican.

There were five four-year seats open on the board. All went to newcomers.

Ruth Hall Bisko led the race on the Democratic ticket with 1004 votes. She received 410 Republican votes.

Nancy Coffer McClaren had 986 Democratic votes and 409 Republican.

Dwayne Koget secured 949 Democratic votes and 386 Republican.

Dave Appolonia was credited with 933 Democratic votes and 409 Republican.

And Gregg A. Nogy had 923 Democratic tallies and 428 Republican.

Newcomers Jared P. Filapose, Tony Lovato, Jay Butch Pore, John P. Shaffer and Richard Pils all did not receive enough votes to secure nominations.

In Washington County, three at-large seats and one regional seat were open on the Ringgold School Board. All seats are for four-year terms.

According to unofficial results, Denise Kuhn and Donald Bartoe received nominations with hopes of retaining their spots on the board. Board President William Stein failed to make it into the general election.

Bartoe and Kuhn earned at-large nominations on the Democratic ticket, with 1771 and 1478 votes respectively. Newcomer Sherrie Crawley Garr received the third at-large Democratic nomination with 1543 votes.

Stein and appointed director Brian Lawrence and newcomers Cherie Curdie and Michelle D. Brozinsk did not receive nominations.

In Region 3, Curdie received the Democratic nomination with 442 votes. Kuhn and Lawrence fell short with 387 and 240 votes respectively.

On the Republican ticket, Curdie, Kuhn and Barote won the at-large nominations. Curdie led with 437 votes. Kuhn had 436 votes and Bartoe came in with 416.

Lawrence, Brozinsk, Garr and Stein fell short.

In Region 3 on the Republican ticket, Curdie secured the nomination with 209 votes. Kuhn and Lawrence fell short with 164 and 136 votes respectively.

In the California Area School District, one four-year seat was open in Region 1 and two four-year seats were open in Regions 2 and 3.

According to unofficial results in Region 1 on the Democratic ticket, Norman G. Hasbrouck, who was appointed to the board last fall, won the nomination with 302 votes.

Newcomer Gerald "Galvie" Gardner fell short with 236 votes.

In Region 2, incumbents John Bayer and Thomas Russell won nominations with 299 and 294 votes respectively. Newcomer Walter J. Moluski II fell short with 209 votes.

In Region 3, newcomer Diane Zielensky and incumbent George Safin won the nomination with 304 and 190 votes respectively.

Incumbent Donna C. Tyrpin fell short with 170 votes.

On the Republican ticket, Hasbrouck won the Region 1 nomination with 66 votes. Gardner fell short with 35.

In Region 2, Bayer and Russell won nominations with 70 votes each. Moluski fell short with 40 votes.

In Region 3, Zielensky and Safin won nominations with 45 and 26 votes respectively. Tyrpin fell short with 24 votes.

In the Bentworth School District, three incumbents won Democratic and Republican nominations for re-election.

Incumbent Angel Rodriguez Jr. lost his bid for re-election.

Directors James Loos, Paul Bellicini and Linda Johnson all won both party nominations. Newcomers John M. Petrisek and Joshua Bashioum also won both party nominations for five four-year seats.

According to unofficial results from Washington County, Loos led the Democratic race with 173 votes, followed by Petrisek, 169; Johnson, 128; Bellicini, 112; and Bashioum, 109. On the Republican ballot, Bashioum had 32 votes, followed by Petrisek, 31; Johnson, 26; Bellicini, 24; and Loos, 23.

In the Belle Vernon Area School District, five four-year terms were open. Five candidates ran uncontested.

The candidates were incumbents Joseph Stringhill, Jim McKevitt and Charles J. Kraft. The newcomers were Daniel J. Sepesky and Gerald W. Jackson II.

In the Frazier School District, five four-year terms were open. Five candidates ran uncontested.

The candidates were newcomer Amy DeLuca and incumbents Valerie Bubnash, Kathy Burkholder, Stacey Rubish Erdely and Vicki Olexa.

In the Elizabeth Forward School District, there were five four-year seats up for grabs.

According to unofficial results, Margaret Ann Morgan was the lead vote-getter on the Democratic ticket with 1,372, and on the Republican ballot with 642. Following Morgan on the Democratic ballot were: Megan Ferraro, 1,410; Michael T. O'Rourke, 1,372; incumbent Charles H. Bakewell, 1,284; and Stanley Douglas, 1,125.

Ferraro, O'Rourke, Bakewell and Douglas also won spots on the Republican ballot and are likely guaranteed spots on the board.

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