Steiner stays; Harmon, Menard, Chapman will join Cherokee BoE
by Michelle Babcock
May 21, 2014 04:00 AM | 3698 views | 6 6 comments | 25 25 recommendations | email to a friend | print
05/7/14 - Candidate Sign 0002 - .Rick Steiner...Staff/C.B. Schmelter
05/7/14 - Candidate Sign 0002 - .Rick Steiner...Staff/C.B. Schmelter
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District 3 Cherokee School Board candidate John Harmon, 41, of Woodstock, said in his vision statement he wants to carefully review financial reports, spend tax dollars wisely and advocate for teaching and learning.<br>Staff/Michelle Babcock
District 3 Cherokee School Board candidate John Harmon, 41, of Woodstock, said in his vision statement he wants to carefully review financial reports, spend tax dollars wisely and advocate for teaching and learning.
Staff/Michelle Babcock
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District 6 Cherokee Board of Education candidate Mike Chapman, 53, of Canton, said in his vision statement he wants to work to reduce debt, open a technical high school, expand the Academies initiative, work to improve graduation rates and improve system efficiency.<br>Staff/Michelle Babcock
District 6 Cherokee Board of Education candidate Mike Chapman, 53, of Canton, said in his vision statement he wants to work to reduce debt, open a technical high school, expand the Academies initiative, work to improve graduation rates and improve system efficiency.
Staff/Michelle Babcock
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The Cherokee County Board of Education will welcome back District 4 incumbent Rick Steiner, along with first-time board members John Harmon and Clark Menard, and veteran board member Mike Chapman, unofficial results following Tuesday’s election show.

Out of 125,178 registered voters in Cherokee County, 25,681 people, or about 20.52 percent, went to the polls to cast ballots in the primary election, according to the Cherokee County Board of Elections results.

Harmon, Steiner, Menard and Chapman will be sworn in to office in January to begin their four-year terms on the Cherokee County School Board.

Cherokee voters chose Harmon, 41, of Woodstock, as the new District 3 school board member. He defeated challenger Brett Ladd, 54, of Canton, to fill the seat being vacated by School Board member Michael Geist.

Harmon received 52 percent, or 1,852 votes while Ladd garnered 47.83 percent, or 1,698 votes.

Harmon said he’s excited be elected for his first term on the Cherokee Board of Education, and said it’s “definitely a win for the kids.”

“I think being involved with the school and running on behalf of the children helped out [in the campaign],” Harmon said.

Harmon said he always wants to make the best choices for the children in Cherokee County, as well as improve the graduation rate and continue to lower class sizes.

“Making sure the children are the top priority,” Harmon said.

Harmon repeatedly thanked his supporters in the district and throughout the county.

“Every vote counts,” he said.

Ladd was unable to be reached by the deadline for publication Tuesday night.

Steiner, 53, of Acworth, will keep his District 4 seat for a third term, defeating opponent Robert Strozier, 49, of Woodstock.

Steiner was first appointed to the seat in November 2005 to fill a vacancy, and was elected to the board in 2006. Steiner was re-elected in 2010, and will begin his third term in January.

Steiner took 58.30 percent, or 1,836 votes, while Strozier received 41.70 percent, or 1,313 votes.

Steiner said winning his election is a “huge weight off his shoulders.”

“I ran a good campaign, I had a lot of good people support me,” Steiner said. “There’s a lot of good people in Cherokee County and they decided who was going to win. I’m just thankful I had enough people out there who believed in me and what I could do.”

Steiner said he wants to continue to lead by example during his next term on the board.

“I think the people were happy with what I’ve done, so they re-elected me,” Steiner said. “I kept [my campaign] clean, I kept it good. It’s just a tough thing to have to go through.”

Steiner said he can’t thank his supporters enough, and he’s humbled to have supporters who believe in him.

“I’m doing this for the kids. To make it a better place for our kids to get an education. At the end of the day, that’s all that matters. Nothing else matters,” Steiner said.

Strozier commended his opponent on winning the election, and thanked his supporters throughout the district.

“I’d like to emphasize my congratulations to Mr. Steiner on his victory,” Strozier said. “And I’d like to thank those who supported me in the race.”

Voters selected Menard, 42, of Woodstock, as the new District 5 Board of Education member, to fill the seat now held by School Board member Rob Usher.

Menard garnered 59.14 percent, or 1,491 votes, defeating opponent Erica Williams, 41, of Woodstock, who received 40.86 percent, or 1,030 votes.

Menard said he’s happy to represent Cherokee County, excited about winning his election and plans on learning a lot before being sworn in next January.

“I’m going to take it one day at a time,” Menard said Tuesday. “I’m very interested in board training. I’ve read a lot about what it means to be a board member, but I think it’s important to sit back and learn. We’ve seen where other people have come in with a specific agenda and tried to get a lot taken care of in the first few months, and tripped up with their actual responsibilities. So I’m going to get my bearing and understanding first.”

Menard said he believes his successful election is a sign of the District 5 voters’ confidence and support of the Cherokee County School District.

“I think the whole county understood this was a decision whether they were going to support the Cherokee School District— if we liked the way the schools were being run— versus, we don’t like it,” Menard said. “The big thing I want to take care of is already happening. They’ve already hired new teachers and they’ve put the teachers in the elementary grades, so we’re going to see lower student-to-teacher ratios.”

Menard said he appreciated his supporters’ hard work.

“I found a lot of friends in this process, and I’m truly blessed,” Menard said.

Williams said she was humbled by the support she had in the election, and said she’ll continue to advocate for the children in the county.

“We ran a great campaign,” Williams said. “I give my best to Clark Menard, I think he’ll do a great job for the children in Cherokee County.”

Chapman, 53, of Canton, a former school board member, will fill the District 6 seat being vacated by School Board member Robert Wofford when his term ends in December.

Chapman took 71.56 percent, or 2,297 votes, while his opponent Susie Tlacil, 42, of Canton, garnered 28.44 percent, or 913 votes.

“I’m humbled by the fact that so many people were in support of me,” Chapman said. “That is a validation of all the things I’ve done in the past, and that people want me back.”

Chapman previously served 11 years on the Board of Education, before being drawn out of his old district in 2012 by state legislators during the redistricting process.

“I’m happy, very happy,” Chapman said. “I’m glad that everybody that voted had the confidence in me getting back in office and doing what we’d been doing before.”

Chapman said he’s looking forward to working with School Board Chair Janet Read again as a board member, and moving forward in a positive manner.

“It’s a humbling experience, going through a campaign. So many people showed their support and helped me in my campaign. I can’t possibly express my gratitude enough,” Chapman said.

Tlacil did not return requests for comment by the deadline for publication Tuesday night.

Comments
(6)
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Osborne5117
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May 21, 2014
Glad to have Mike Chapman back on the board. And I couldn't be more proud of our new, and returning Board members. Now we can get back to the business of what is best for our students.
Karl Marx
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May 21, 2014
That's Great. Mike "If you don't like it YOU can move" Chapman is back like a bad dream. I wonder who he will insult this time around. That is if Dr. P lets him....
Charles C
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May 21, 2014
Sour grapes
Jeffrey A
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May 21, 2014
We moved here because of the schools and the strength of people like Mr. Chapman. As I stated, we moved here because of what Cherokee has to offer and if you don't like it change your situation, not to sugar coat it " If you don't like then YOU can move"!
Karl Marx
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May 23, 2014
I have live here a lot longer than you have Mr. Jeffery and I'll be here long after you and Mike Chapman are gone. If schools are so important to you then move to New York. I hear their school system is so much better than Georgia's and Cherokee County's but then again that's not really why you are here is it?
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