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Paynesville Press - November 16, 2005

Four candidates win uncontested school board seats

By Michael Jacobson

David Johnson All four declared candidates won election to the Paynesville Area School Board last week. The election had light voter turnout with newcomer David Johnson (at top left) winning a four-year term as the leading vote-getter and incumbents Mark Dingmann (second on left), Allen Schmidt (at top right), and Debora Glenz (at bottom right) all winning re-election to four-year terms.

Voter turnout was low, with only 198 voters on Tuesday, Nov. 8. With a total voter registration in the school district of 3,789, that represents only a voter turnout of only five percent. It was the lowest voter turnout at a school board election since May 1996.

Allen Schmidt Johnson led the tallies with 175 votes, followed by Dingmann and Schmidt with 170 votes each, and Glenz with 146 votes. There were 16 write-in votes, and 115 ballot blanks (undervotes).

Johnson, a 1984 PHS graduate who has been an attorney in Paynesville since 1999, will join the board in January. (Incumbent Tami Stanger, who did not re-file, will leave the board at the end of December.)

He becomes the second family member to serve on the local school board. His father, retired veterinarian Todd Johnson, served on the school board for nine years (three three-year terms) from 1979 to 1988, including as board chair.

Mark Dingmann "I look forward to working with the board, administration, staff, and students," said David Johnson, the father of three young children, of his election.

Dingmann and Schmidt were both elected to the school board originally in 2001 - when four people were elected to the board out of nine candidates - and both have served one four-year term.

Dingmann, the radiology manager at PAHCS, is also the father of three and serves on four board committees: facility and equipment, teacher negotiations, support staff negotiations, and budget.

Deb Glenz Schmidt, a 1979 PHS graduate, has served as the board chair for the past two years. A live haul supervisor for Jennie-O Turkey Store, he is the father of four and serves on four committees: education district, facility and equipment, teacher negotiations, and transportation.

Glenz won a fourth term on the school board, having originally been elected to the board in 1994. She now has won re-election in 1997, in 2001 (after school board terms were switched to four years and school board elections moved to November), and in 2005.

Glenz, the mother of four and a daycare provider, serves as the board vice chair and on eight committees: administration negotiations; budget; employee recognition; food service; legislative liaison; Schools for Equity in Education; staff development; and support staff negotiations.

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