“My heart is beating fast. It’s been kind of tied in knots all day,” Lynette Stream expressed at the Mahaska County Courthouse Tuesday evening.
Stream, along with her husband, were awaiting the results of the election in the foyer of the courthouse. A wave of relief rushed over Stream as she was told that she had surpassed Tom Richardson, incumbent and current school board president, by just over 60 votes.
Stream, an unsettled parent and mother, received 564 votes while Richardson followed behind with 499 votes.
This is the third election in the past decade where a running school board president was surpassed by their opponent. Don Patterson, who was on the school board dating back to 2001, ran opposed in 2011 and lost the vote. In 2013, Susan Boxler also ran and lost her candidacy.
“I think, still tonight when i was at soccer field with my daughter, one of the major issues is still discipline.” Stream noted. “You know, we’ve made great strides with that.”
When NCN representative, Miranda Keeler, asked Stream about why board members — even currently on the board — speak of discipline yet only walk through the school to see physical changes. No member of the board speaks of personally witnessing the actions of students and disciplinary action students receive.
“I think that is one way I have an advantage as a stay-at-home mom,” responded Stream. “Other board members working full time may not have the time. I’m really excited to work with Rozey Warder.”
Rozanne “Rozey” Warder is the CEO of Take Action Consulting who has been working with the Oskaloosa Community School District for some time now. Take Action Consulting specifically designs plans for school districts, as well as various organizations.
Richardson made a brief appearance at the courthouse Tuesday evening following the dismissal of the regularly scheduled school board meeting, the only current standing school board member to do so. Richardson shook Stream’s hand and congratulated her on the victory before he exited. Richardson had served the board for the last 6 years.
Shelly Herr ran unopposed for District 2 receiving 882 votes.
Carl Drost, incumbent, received 611 votes for the At-Large candidate seat. His opponent, Kym Life, only received 472 votes.
At a school board meeting in late August, Drost noted that this would be last term running for school board.
Drost took to Facebook Monday before the big election day. “The parents and concerned citizens need to send a message to the school system by electing Carl Drost and Lynette Stream to the Oskaloosa School Board tomorrow.”
Seemingly endorsing the idea that a partnership had formed between Drost and Stream throughout the school board election and forum process. Drost continued, “We need everybody to post, call and tell all their friends to get out and vote telling them how important this election is for our students and our community. (Tom and Kym sent out postcards last weekend).”
Stream shared Drost’s Facebook post and also noted to vote the duo for Oskaloosa School Board.
The number’s for this school board elections closed in on record setting for ballots casted. Almost 1,100 votes were counted, both absentee and at the polls. The highest voter turnout occurred in 2005 when the votes counted reached almost 1,400. Just two years ago, out of the over 12,000 registered voters, only 345 ballots were casted.
The Board of Supervisors will accept and confirm the official results of the Mahaska County School Board Election later this week.
This upset win of Stream over Richardson means a new president will be elected. All candidates will take their oath at the next school board meeting on the evening of September 26th.
“Thank you so much for trusting me, listening to me. And thank you for putting the word out,” Stream spoke to those who voted for her.