Incumbent wins race for school board seat

2014-05-06T18:15:00Z 2014-05-07T11:58:06Z Incumbent wins race for school board seatBy ROB ROGERS rrogers@billingsgazette.com The Billings Gazette

It looks like incumbent Janna Hafer will keep her seat on the School District 2 board. 

Final results Tuesday night showed Hafer leading her opponent by 547 votes. In all, Hafer had received 1,204 votes and challenger Virgil Middendorf had received 657.

Officially, she represents Zone 2, the area that covers the Heights east of Main Street and most of downtown Billings.

She was appointed to the board in August, replacing Trustee Pam Ellis, who had resigned over the summer. Middendorf had also applied for the seat. 

He filed to run against Hafer this spring because he believed voters should have a choice when filling out a ballot. He's closely watched the board for the past couple of years and wanted to serve as a trustee to help keep the board accountable to taxpayers. 

He also has two children in the district and he volunteers weekly in their classrooms. The quality of their education is greatly important to him, he said. 

For Hafer, the work she's done on the board since being appointed has been satisfying and she wanted to continue to be a part of it.

In the short time she had been a trustee, she's served on the calendar committee, worked on the Safe Routes for Schools project and sat on the curriculum review board that examined Sherman Alexie’s “The Absolutely True Diary of a Part-time Indian” when it was contested by parents last fall.

Hafer said she looked at student achievement as one of the biggest issues currently facing the district. The zone she represents includes schools that deal with poverty-related issues, like poor school attendance, high dropout rates and low test scores among some populations of students.

In her day job, Hafer is the CFO and co-owner of High Plains Architects with her husband, Randy.

She graduated from Senior High in 1971 and her children attended School District 2, two graduating from Senior and two graduating from West.

Copyright 2014 The Billings Gazette. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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