Stoops, Bleakley top Batavia School Board field
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Going into Tuesday's election it was a foregone conclusion that the Batavia District 101 School Board would have at least three new faces on it.
Only one incumbent, Tina Bleakley, was among the seven people running for four 4-year seats on the board.
According to unofficial results and with all 28 precincts reporting, voters retained Bleakley and brought in Jason Stoops, Jonathan Gaspar and Sue Locke as new board members.
"I definitely felt strongly about my positions and the people would back me, but I am surprised (to finish first)," said Stoops, who tallied 1,374 votes to lead the field. "I'm very proud to become a part of the board with such an excellent foundation to build upon."
Bleakley finished with 1,259 votes and newcomers Gaspar and Locke took home 1,262 and 1,200 votes, respectively, according to unofficial results.
Rounding out the field were Jim Karner with 1,170 votes, Michael Papka with 1,166 and Gary Grizaffi with 1,052.
Stoops said his goal was to provide the highest possible level of service while keeping an eye on spending. "To be able to serve the citizens of Batavia is one of the greatest joys I'm getting out of this. My goal is get the greatest good for the greatest number of people," he said.
Bleakley said all of the candidates in the seven-person field were well qualified, but felt Tuesday's vote showed her that voters were happy with the job the board was doing.
Bleakley said her goals are to keep Batavia as a top performing school district and to increase communication with the community.
"I want the community to really know what's going on and get involved. People want to move to Batavia because of the schools. I want to keep it that way," she said. "I'm very excited to be a part of something I believe in and I will work really hard for the students and the community."
Locke said fiscal responsibility was her top priority to ensure sacrifices made by staff and students were not made in vain.
Gaspar said he plans to retire as a teacher at Waldo Middle School in Aurora in June to devote time to the board. He also served on a parent advisory committee for Batavia High School.
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