The News Desk is a collection of news, notes and breaking items affecting the Fredericksburg community.
Grampp, Braswell win school seats
Local horseback riding instructor Erin Grampp, the Republican-endorsed Berkeley District School Board candidate, defeated opponents Mark Marshall and incumbent Gil Seaux. Grampp won with 47 percent of the vote, based on unofficial results.
Grampp ran on a platform of increasing teacher salaries, maintaining a balanced budget and providing additional career-readiness training to Spotsylvania students.
Grampp is the owner, operator and trainer at EKG Stables, a horseback-riding school and boarding facility south of the courthouse.
She has previously served as an officer on the board of directors for the Battlefield Horse Show Association.
Grampp said her work ethic set her apart from the other candidates. She spent the days leading up to the election personally making calls and knocking on doors. She said her youth and fresh ideas also set her apart.
“I went to these schools and graduated in 1998,” she said. “I have teachers and bus drivers still in the system.”
She said her time until she takes office in January will be spent getting up to speed on the schools’ budget and meeting with other school board members to understand their priorities.
Seaux said his dedication to young people will not diminish during the remainder of his time on the board and not to write him off as a candidate in future elections.
He also offered advice for Grampp.
“Be ready to learn a lot and dive in deeply,” he said. “The content the board faces is quite complex.”
Unlike Seaux, Marshall said not to look for his name on future ballots.
“The Berkeley District has voted and this is what they want,” Marshall said.
There were also two uncontested races in Spotsylvania for the School Board.
Army veteran and volunteer coach Baron Braswell will represent the Battlefield District on the board.
Braswell ran for the seat in 2009, but lost to incumbent Linda Wieland by 29 votes, or less than 1 percent of votes cast. Braswell got involved in schools governance after his son, 16-year-old Baron “Deuce” Braswell, was murdered at a high school party.
Braswell will be the only elected minority on a governing board in Spotsylvania county.
In the Lee Hill District, School Board Chairwoman Amanda Blalock ran unopposed, as well, and won with 97 percent of the vote.
Lindley Estes: 540/735-1976