Reynoldsburg voters appeared to give the nod to two newcomers to fill two of three seats on the board of education Nov. 7, with Jeni Quesenberry, Rob Barga and incumbent Joe Begeny earning the most votes in Franklin County.
With 99 percent of precincts reporting, Quesenberry got the most votes in Franklin County, according to unofficial results from the Franklin County Board of Elections, with 3,160, or 30 percent; Begeny was next, at 2,768 votes, or 26 percent. Barga received 2,447 votes, or 23 percent.
Incumbent Rob Truex garnered 2,175 votes, or 21 percent, in Franklin County and 891 votes, or 23.34 percent in Licking County.
However, the margin of difference in votes between Barga and Truex was so close on Election Night that Truex indicated on his web page that a recount was likely and Barga, in a message to ThisWeek, said the race might become an example of “every vote counts.”
Other unofficial results in Licking County showed Quesenberry receiving 1,176 votes for 30.81 percent; Begeny earning 1,132 votes for 29.66 percent; and Barga receiving 618 votes, or 16.19 percent.
Quesenberry, 57, is an assistant administrator.
She said the top issues for the district are “closing the gaps” and “meeting the needs of students with special needs.”
She said addressing special needs means ensuring every student has an individual education plan or IEP and behavior improvement plan.
“I would also like to see our district utilize a parent mentor to assist our families through this difficult and sometimes lengthy process,” she said.
Begeny, 41, a teacher with Columbus City Schools, was elected to the school board in November 2013.
He said the state legislature continues to underfund all public schools, which makes “respectful use of taxpayers’ money” a major concern for the district.
“This respect has allowed our board to keep its promise to stay off the ballot since 2010,” he said. “Our board has made it a focus to develop a relationship with our administration, staff and community so we can work together to find the most effective use of our funds, while maximizing student learning opportunities.”
Barga, 29, is an attorney.
He said recent report card results show Reynoldsburg students struggling in various tested areas.
“This has a direct correlation with their future careers, ability to enter college and lifetime earning power,” he said. “While the state’s formula is fluid and these indicators have little value, I believe that we can use them to help guide our students toward a path that offers them the best opportunity to overcome those struggles.”
He said the number of English and math tutors should be increased to help students achieve state standards in those subjects.
Truex, 46, a senior network engineer, was elected in November 2015 to serve the last two years of the unexpired term of former board member Loretta King.