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Stafford schools welcome old, new

Stafford County voters passed up the opportunity to shake things up on the School Board. 

Tuesday’s election could have brought four new faces to the board. But the two incumbents running—Nanette Kidby and Holly Hazard—each won another term.

In Aquia, Irene Egan handily defeated opponent Vanessa Griffin, scoring 61 percent of the votes in the North Stafford district.

In Falmouth, the race was closer—Scott Hirons won with 54 percent of the vote. Mark Kitta netted 45 percent of the Falmouth votes.

Those two sparred over the rebuilding of Stafford High School. Kitta wanted to keep the old building, which is scheduled to be torn down in two years when the new school is up and running.

“The voters understand that issue is a done deal,” Hirons said. “They were more concerned about teacher compensation, textbooks in the schools and, in general, having good schools in Stafford County.”

Hirons said that he looks forward to tackling the budget process and to working with the school division’s new superintendent, who hasn’t been chosen yet. The current School Board members will start interviewing superintendent candidates in mid-November and could have a new chief in place by the start of 2014.

Egan will be the other fresh face to join the School Board. Four years ago, she ran for county supervisor, against Paul Milde, who was re-elected to that body Tuesday night.

“It feels much, much better to win than it does to lose,” Egan said as she celebrated her victory.

She said she looks forward to developing a rapport with the Board of Supervisors and helping the boards craft a working relationship that improves the budget process.

In Garrisonville, Kidby—who garnered 51 percent of the vote against opponent R. Pamela Yeung—said that she can’t wait to try some new, 21st-century learning techniques in Stafford classrooms.

“I’m thrilled, absolutely thrilled,” said Kidby, a School Board member for six years. “I love, love working with the schools, and I’m so excited about the next four years and the strides we’ll be able to make for Stafford County schools.”

Hartwood School Board member Holly Hazard won the chance to continue on the board with 53 percent of the vote. She had been appointed to the School Board last year and beat Eric Herr in Tuesday’s election.

“I’m thrilled to be elected by the residents of Hartwood and to continue to serve the students and the teachers—and actually the county as a whole,” Hazard said. “Education is too important to any county for us to not put our best feet forward.”

She looks forward to improving the budget process and working with a new superintendent in her next term.

But first, Hazard has to help her daughter finish a sixth-grade science project that’s due this week.

Amy Flowers Umble: 540/735-1973