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Michael Jeffryes

Jeffryes

The boards of education for Columbus Public Schools and Lakeview Community Schools will feature some familiar and new faces in the near future.

Michael Jeffryes and Chad Anderson will be the newest faces to the Columbus and Lakeview boards, respectively, securing enough votes during Tuesday's general election. The three candidates receiving the most votes from each race earned a spot on a school board.

Jeffrys, according to unofficial election results posted early Wednesday morning showing 31 of 32 voting precincts reporting, finished in third with 3,497 votes (21.93 percent). Incumbent CHS board members Theresa Seipel and Douglas Molczyk were both re-elected, with Seipel receiving 23.14 percent of the vote (3,690) and Molczyk 22.61 percent (3,605).

Jeffryes said he was happy to be elected as the school board’s newest member. He said he has no set agenda joining the board and that he wants to spend the first two months of office learning as much as he can about the district's current budget and projects.

“I’m definitely honored and humbled,” Jeffryes said. “The first thing (for me) would be getting my feet accustomed and adjusted to the board.”

Jeffryes, 41, is a lead IT analyst at Columbus Community Hospital. The father of four currently serves on the Columbus Public Schools Foundation board. In 2016, he co-chaired the 16th annual Taste of Columbus fundraising event hosted by the Columbus Area Chamber of Commerce.

Jeffryes said he did not campaign too much for the election, but believes his reputation from serving on several local community boards helped him win the seat.

“I really am surprised. I really did not campaign on it at all,” Jeffryes said. “Columbus is small enough that people may not 'know me know me', but they know who I am.”

Molczyk said he was happy Jeffryes would be joining the board and would be a great addition.

“I am excited, I know Mike personally,” Molczyk said,” and I think he is going to be a good fit on the school board.”

The Columbus Police Department captain said he was pleased with the voter turnout and appreciated everyone who supported him in the election.

“I’m very thankful, it shows I have some support from the voters and that I'm doing a good job,” Molczyk said. “And I don't want to let them down.”

Anderson, of Emerson, is a father of three and ran for the Lakeview School Board two years ago during the 2016 presidential election. He will now serve as its newest member.

Anderson said while the election results were coming in, he and one of his opponents, Larry Hassebrook, were neck and neck early on during the night. The final results were Anderson with 21.08 percent of the vote (929 votes) and Hassebrook 18.91 percent (833), giving Anderson the third-place slot.

Although he's happy he won the seat, Anderson said all the candidates in the race were qualified and would have done a good job in the position.

"I’m honored and I’m flattered that the voters choose me,” Anderson said, adding that there was “no bad choice in the election.”

Incumbents Ryan Loseke and Keith Runge retained their seats, receiving 32.71 percent of the vote (1,441 votes) and 26.99 percent (1,189 votes), respectively.

Lakeview Superintendent Aaron Plas said he was pleased with the Lakeview School Board results and thinks Anderson will be a solid addition.

“Honestly, I’m really looking forward to continuing working together with Ryan Loseke and Keith Runge,” he said. “We've had an awesome few years together and I'm looking forward to making our district as awesome as it can be.”

All newly elected board members will be sworn into office in January 2019.

Eric Schucht is a reporter for The Columbus Telegram. Reach him via email at eric.schucht@lee.net.

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Eric Schucht earned his bachelor's degree in journalism at the University of Oregon in 2018. He has written for The Cottage Grove Sentinel, The Creswell Chronicle, The Pacific Northwest Inlander and The Roseburg News Review.

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