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Newcomers take Helendale school board race


Previous versions of this story incorrectly stated that Donald Langille was in the lead in the race for Helendale School District’s short-term board seat. Frank Melendez was in the lead as the results came out and ultimately won the race.

Update: Three newcomers won the race for Helendale School District, according to unofficial final results. In the race for two long-term seat, Maria Ferris maintained her lead overnight, garnering 27.67 percent of the vote. Jennifer Funt, who was tied with incumbent Valeria Brown according to preliminary result, won the second long-term seat on the school board by margin of 2.55 percentage points. In the race for one short-term seat, Frank Melendez won with a margin of 26.08 percentage points over his opponent, incumbent Donald Langille.


HELENDALE • Helendale School District could have two newcomers on its school board, once all votes are tallied in Tuesday’s election.

Helendale School District had two long-term seats and one short-term seat open in the race.

In the race for long-term seats, law enforcement officer Maria Ferrin was leading by seven percentage points, according to preliminary results released at 10 p.m. Tuesday. Community volunteer Jennifer Funt was tied with Helendale school board incumbent Valeria Brown for the second long-term seat.

Ferrin carried 27.6 percent of the vote. Funt, a newcomer, and Brown, who has worked with the School District for more than 25 years, both had 20.6 percent of the vote.

“It’s exciting and I can’t wait to see the actual end results,” Ferrin said. “If it happens, I look forward to getting involved and doing some good in the school.”

The remaining two candidates for the long-term seat — Rebecca Herrick, incumbent, and Bob Caddell, educator — had 16.2 percent and 15.0 percent of the vote, respectively.

For the third short-term seat, appointed incumbent Donald Langille had a solid lead of 24.06 percentage points over his opponent, Frank Melendez.

This election comes at a crucial time for Helendale school district. While the school is succeeding according to state academic standards, Helendale is facing possible insolvency if the school’s debt — at $19.3 million according to Board President Herm Engelhardt —is not managed, according to previous reports.

These results represent the final numbers available as of press time Tuesday night. Check for updated results Wednesday.

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