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Four incumbents edged out challenger Pauletta Moody Tuesday to return to the Big Hollow School District 38 board.
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With all precincts reporting, voters retained mortgage closer Heather Janquart, firefighter James DeVito, teacher Julia Mazur and produce clerk Victoria Gallichio to lead the financially strapped Big Hollow school district for four more years.
Unofficial vote totals show Janquart compiled 567 votes, Mazur earned 560, DeVito totaled 512 and Gallichio amassed 482.
Political newcomer Moody, a volunteer with a parent-teacher organization, finished last with 315 votes.
The re-elected board members, who have pledged not to raise taxes, will continue to work at solving the district's financial shortfall of $1.3 million, created in part by unpaid funding from the state.
"I knew it would be a tight race, but I had no idea I would come in first," Janquart said from her home Tuesday night. "My first order of business will be fiscal responsibility to work out different ways to get our budget in line."
Asked about the worst part of campaigning for a school board seat, Janquart said: "There really isn't a worst part. But you do find out when people aren't happy about what you're doing. Nobody likes criticism, but sometimes that's a very valuable way to learn how to do your job better."