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Posted on Tue, Nov 8, 2011 : 11:52 p.m.

Kim Samuelson, David McMahon win seats on the Lincoln Consolidated School Board

By Tom Perkins

Incumbent Kim Samuelson and David McMahon won two seats on the Lincoln Consolidated School Board. They defeated Brad Labadie.

Samuelson won 40.1 percent of the tally with 904 votes, according to unofficial results.

McMahon received 704 votes to Labadie’s 639, a margin of less than 3 percent.

Samuelson has served on the school board since 2003. She currently sits as the board's president and said she is humbled by her re-election for a third term. She attributed retaining her seat to constituents realizing she and the board “make decisions that are in the best interest of Lincoln’s kids, who are always put first.”

While campaigning, Samuelson highlighted that strides have been in improving Lincoln’s schools at the elementary and middle school levels during her tenure, and she said the board has already taken measures - such as forming a “Persistently Lowest Performing Committee” - to address the high school’s achievement problems.

Lincoln High School was listed among the state’s poorest performing last year.

“We do struggle at the high school but we are on the path to change in a big way, and I think voters know that, too,” she said.

Because of its low achievement, LCS is undertaking a state-mandated restructuring plan at the high school, and Samuelson said the board must remain focused on implementing it and turning the school around.

“There’s no question that we need to continue to address those issues and make the changes we need to make at the high school - that’s number one,” she said. “We have to do that and I think you’ll see it happen. And it trickles down. There's going to be a significant change district-wide.”

Lincoln Schools also faces a significant issue in its declining enrollment, and all three candidates made suggestions on how to reverse that trend.

McMahon, a 1977 Lincoln High School graduate, highlighted his strong managerial experience in urgent situations. He said declining enrollment was one of the central issues because it was also tied to the district’s budget problem.

He suggested the district develop short- and long-term plans to address declining enrollment and reduced state funding that are impacting its bottom line.



Wed, Nov 9, 2011 : 4:13 p.m.

Congratulations to the winners. It's great that Mr. McMahon has "strong managerial experience", but hopefully he realizes that his proper role is not to manage the day to day activities of the District. And he should also come up to speed on the plans already in place before suggesting new ones be drawn up.