Whelan, McGruder, Abbey elected to Garfield District 16 school board | PostIndependent.com

Whelan, McGruder, Abbey elected to Garfield District 16 school board

Garfield County School District No. 16 candidates Kim Whelan, left, and Christine Abbey participate in a public forum at the Grand Valley Fire Protection District Station No. 1 on Oct. 6.
Rich Allen/Post Independent

One incumbent and two newcomers were elected in balloting that concluded Tuesday in the race to fill three Garfield District 16 Board of Education seats in Parachute.

Unofficial final election results from Garfield County released late Wedneday afternoon gave incumbent appointed board member Kim Whelan the most votes among the six candidates for three open seats on the board with 652.

Second in the running was Staci McGruder with 633 votes, with Christina Abbey holding on for the third seat with 531 votes.

Vincent Tomasulo, who was seeking election to a second term, was just outside the mix with 457 votes. He was followed by Donald Christopher Jackson with 432 votes and Keith Gronewoller with 407.

“Hopefully, people see that I’ve been a positive representative of educators in our district, and I’d like to continue to do the best job I can to provide a good learning environment for students and a good teaching environment for our teachers,” Whelan said as the results were being reported Tuesday night.

One big decision coming up for the District 16 board in the coming months will be hiring a new superintendent, following the decision last week by Superintendent Brad Ray to step down after the current school year.

Whelan declined to speculate on that process, but acknowledged the challenging times for public schools both politically and in terms of hiring and retaining teachers and staff.

“Integrity is the No. 1 responsibility we all have, and making sure the decisions we make are in the best interests of the kids, parents, families and employees of the district,” she said.

McGruder and Abbey were not immediately available for comment. Those elected to the Garfield 16 board Tuesday are to serve four-year terms.

Senior Reporter/Managing Editor John Stroud can be reached at 970-384-9160 or jstroud@citizentelegram.com.

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