Argyle ISD bond package wins support

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Voters in Argyle on Saturday overwhelmingly approved a $45 million school bond package, with 59 percent approving the package in complete but unofficial returns.

The bond package will fund a new middle school, athletic facilities and high school upgrades, technology improvements and new school buses.

“I’m very appreciative and grateful to the voters in Argyle ISD for recognizing the need for the additional instructional facilities and upgrades to other facilities,” Superintendent Telena Wright said Saturday. “This will be a huge benefit to the students in Argyle ISD.”

Three new trustees were elected to the Argyle school board after a six-person race for three at-large seats. John Bitter, Steven Moore and Craig Hawkesworth were elected to fill seats being vacated by incumbents Kevin Faciane, Peggy Miller and Jim Haltom.

The Argyle races were among several school board and school bond propositions on the ballot Saturday across Denton County.

There was no school board election for the Denton school district — the election was canceled after none of the races was contested. Incumbent Jim Alexander, 67, who has served on the school board since 1993, will retain his Place 6 seat, and Dorothy Martinez, 74, will fill the Place 7 seat being vacated by Rudy Rodriguez, who is stepping down later this month after six years on the board.

Other school board elections canceled around the county included Krum, Lake Dallas, Pilot Point and Ponder, where the incumbents drew no opponents. In Frisco and Prosper, according to early returns, Denton County voters overwhelmingly supported $775 million and $30 million school bonds, respectively.

Argyle ISD

Bitter, 42, a veterinarian, led the pack for the Argyle school board with more than 26 percent of the vote, followed by Moore, 52, a crew supervisor who served on the Argyle school board from 1998 until last year, who had nearly 23 percent. Hawkesworth, 44, who works in online media and advertising sales, received 18 percent of the votes, according to complete but unofficial returns.

Failing to make the cut were Kimberly Campbell, 40, a national operations manager for a lending company, who drew nearly 17 percent of the vote; William Wolfe, 36, a national sales manager, with 8.5 percent; and Wes Timmons, 42, a business owner, with 7 percent.

Morris, who will return to the board, said he appreciated the public’s support “and the confidence people have in me with the experience I have to bring back to the board.”

“Really, the bond was the most important vote because we really needed that bond to stay ahead of the growth that’s coming,” he said.

Attempts to reach Bitter and Hawkesworth were unsuccessful Saturday.

The $45 million bond package approved by voters includes $30.15 million for a new 750-student middle school campus for grades six through eight that will also serve as Phase 1 of a district high school.

The package also includes $2 million for technology, $550,000 for new buses and $155,000 in high school science lab updates.

The bond package will also fund $218,000 for additional baseball/softball seating, $145,500 for a baseball outfield wall, more than $1 million for a girls field house/locker room, $280,000 for additional football stadium seating and nearly $3.7 million for an indoor activity center. It also includes $2.5 million for additional tennis, baseball and softball locker rooms, office space and storage and $380,000 for four new tennis courts and lighting.

The package also will fund more than $1.4 million for turf at the existing baseball and softball fields and nearly $2.5 million in bond contingency funds.

Officials previously said the bond package could increase the district tax rate by 12.5 cents per $100 valuation, an annual $125 increase for every $100,000 of a home’s value.

Aubrey ISD

Incumbent school trustee Colleen Dow retained the Place 7 seat, drawing 56 percent of the vote, according to complete but unofficial returns.

Dow, 50, a software engineer, was challenged by Jackie McBroom, 60, a retired educator who in 2011 stepped down from the Aubrey school board after three terms following his promotion to assistant superintendent in a neighboring district. McBroom had 44 percent of the vote.

Dow said she looks forward to doing what’s best for Aubrey schoolchildren and continuing her work on the board with other trustees.

“I’d just like to thank everybody who supported me. I’m very glad to have three more years,” Dow said. “I just appreciate them going out to vote for me and I could not have done it without their support.”

McBroom offered his best wishes to Dow in a phone interview with the Denton Record-Chronicle on Saturday.

“The voters have spoken, so congratulations to Mrs. Dow and I wish her nothing but the best in her new term,” he said. “I appreciate the support I got from so many people and wish the best for the school district.”

The Place 7 race was the only contested race of the three Aubrey school board races on the ballot.

Place 6 incumbent John Brogdon, 63, a plumber, and Place 2 incumbent Annette Crooks, 55, a farm owner who was appointed to the seat last December to complete an unexpired term, drew no opponents.

Little Elm ISD

Newcomers Alejandro “Alex” Flores, Melissa Myers and DeLeon English defeated incumbents Saturday for the Place 2, 3 and 4 seats.

LeAnna Harding, 37, a human resources manager, was uncontested in the Place 1 seat.

In the Place 2 race, Flores, 48, a channel manager with a local electric company, garnered 63 percent of the vote to defeat incumbent Curtis Savage, 49, a director of career services for Kaplan College, in complete but unofficial returns.

Myers, 40, an implementation manager, easily won the Place 3 seat with nearly 70 percent of votes over incumbent Sally Coleman, 49, co-owner of an insurance brokerage business.

DeLeon English, 45, a consultant, claimed the Place 4 seat in a three-person race with nearly 57 percent of the vote in complete but unofficial returns. Incumbent Elisa McAtee, 43, an insurance claim representative who was appointed to the seat last summer, had 28 percent. Trailing was Larry Salerno, 56, an operations director for a local business, who had 15 percent of the vote.

Northwest ISD

Incumbents retained the Place 5 and 7 seats on the Northwest school board Saturday.

In a six-person race for the open Place 6 seat, Lillian Rauch, 65, a retired Northwest ISD educator, claimed victory Saturday with 44 percent of the vote in complete but unofficial returns.

Kristi Wade, 48, a service and support manager, had nearly 31 percent and Andrew Bennett, 45, a regional market manager, had nearly 11 percent. Trailing were Stan Durham, 59, a pastor, with 9 percent; Aaron Fraser, 38, a compliance trainer, with 4 percent; and Edward R. Mergenthal Jr., 40, a travel consultant, with 1 percent.

Place 5 incumbent Devonna Holland, 51, a bank manager, received 51 percent of the vote over challenger Jerry Burkett, 38, an educator.

Place 7 incumbent Mel Fuller, 48, an educational administrator, garnered nearly 63 percent of the vote in complete but unofficial returns over challenger Doug Smith, 52, a caterer.

Sanger ISD

Dale Gleason, 42, was elected to Place 7 on the Sanger school board Saturday with 68 percent of the vote, according to complete but unofficial returns. Gleason will fill the seat being vacated by Ralph Amyx, who did not file for re-election.

Gleason defeated challenger Jeff Morris, 53, a manager who served two consecutive terms on the Sanger school board before withdrawing for a third term in 2011.

Attempts to reach Gleason and Morris were unsuccessful Saturday.

In Places 1 and 6, incumbents James Howard, 43, the owner of a mortuary and crematory, and Brad Watts, 46, an electric line supervisor, ran uncontested.

BRITNEY TABOR can be reached at 940-566-6876 and via Twitter at @BritneyTabor.

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