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Incumbents voted out, technology levies approved in Missoula school election

By Faith Smith, KECI Reporter, fcronin@keci.com
Published On: May 07 2013 09:13:03 PM MDT
Updated On: May 07 2013 10:55:35 PM MDT
Incumbents voted out, technology levies approved in Missoula school election
MISSOULA, Mont. -

After a controversial year for the Missoula County Public Schools two technology levies still passed this evening.

Voters approved a $300,000 levy for Missoula high schools. It was a close vote. 52 percent voted for the high school levy and 48 percent voted against it.

An elementary levy that will increase technology funds by about $550,000 passed by a larger margin of 8 percent. 54 percent voted for it, 46 percent of the voters opposed the levy.

Missoula Public Schools Superintendent Alex Apostle tells NBC Montana the levies will pay for new computers, software maintenance, projectors, printers and tech classes for staff.

Just months ago controversy surrounded the Missoula school board after they voted Apostle a 13 percent pay raise. Teachers, students, parents and taxpayers even held protests saying it was unfair that teachers were only given a 2-percent raise compared to Apostle’s 13 percent -- which means he will earn $200,000 a year by 2014.

At the protests many folks stated they felt it was time for a change.

Three Missoula school board seats were open to vote on and incumbents up for re-election were voted out.

For three available 3-year seats on the Missoula school board Michael Beers received the highest number of votes. Julie Tompkins and Diane Lorenzen will also take seats on the board. Incumbents Scott Bixler and Joe Toth did not receive enough votes to be re-elected.

Challenger Rose Dickson ousted school board incumbent Scott Todd to take the 1-year seat on the Missoula school board. Dickson out-polled Todd by a 24-percent margin.

Taking the Missoula school board seat for Lolo, DeSmet and Woodman schools will be Anne Wake with 58 percent of the vote. She beat out incumbent Drake Lemm for that position.

For the Target Range school board Catherine Mikesell took the two-year seat and Kris Crawford took the 3-year seat.

In Clinton Hans Andrew Halverson took the 1-year trustee seat, Eric Nystrom took the 3-year trustee seat.  The general fund levy passed.

A Frenchtown school levy passed 61 percent to 39 percent.  Hellgate Elementary’s levy passed 53 percent to 47 percent.

For more election results from Missoula County, click here.