Voters in Calallen sent three new faces to the Calallen Independent School District Board of Trustees last week, but gave the longest serving member another four years in office.
Place 1 incumbent Paul Peeler won 58.7 percent of the vote, giving him a comfortable victory over challenger Tammy McLendon's 41.3 percent. Peeler, who has served on the board for a combined total of 18 years, received 2,278 votes to 1,606 for McLendon.
When asked about his success in an election that saw other incumbents removed from the board, Peeler said the voters seemed to appreciate his commitment to the district.
"I've been in the community 27 years," Peeler said. "I think it shows that I love the community, and a lot of people know that."
In the race for Place 2, newcomer Chad Burkhart received 50.38 percent of the vote, enough to give him a narrow victory over incumbent Yolanda Villarreal's 49.62 percent. Only 30 votes separated the two candidates, with Burkhart receiving 1,967 votes to 1,937 for Villarreal.
Peeler expressed condolences to his former fellow board member on her loss.
"I was disappointed that we don't have Yolanda on the board anymore. She was kind of our go-to person on curriculum," Peeler said. "She was very knowledgeable on curriculum. But we'll work with what the public sends us."
Burkhart and Villarreal could not be reached for comment.
In the race for the open Place 5 seat, Chad Wilfong received 73 percent of the vote, easily defeating his opponent, Jesse Molina, who received 27 percent. Wilfong received a total of 2,761 votes, nearly triple the 1,018 received by Molina.
In Place 6, Jason Floyd unseated incumbent trustee Tammy McDonald. Floyd received 2,001 votes, 52 percent of the total, to McDonald's 1,814.
On Monday, Floyd thanked his supporters, and said he was looking forward to working to finish the bond projects and improving technology in the district.
"I appreciate everybody's vote and the hard work of the team that helped me get elected," Floyd said. "I look forward to serving the students, administrators and educators of Calallen."
With McDonald and Villarreal's defeat and the decision by Karen Karagas to not seek re-election, Peeler noted the board will now be made up entirely of men.
"I am sorry we don't have any ladies on the board. I don't think that helps," Peeler said. "I don't think that's healthy."
The new board is scheduled to take the oath of office at a Nov. 15 meeting.