School Boards: Simbric, Freeman, Schneider early leaders in Camp Verde, override denied

Estes, Foltz and Harshman lead in Beaver Creek

Leading in the early returns were (top from left) Bob Simbric, Helen Freeman and Christine Schneider at Camp Verde Unified School District and (bottom from left) Jeannette Estes, Diana Foltz and Jackie Harshman at Beaver Creek School.

Leading in the early returns were (top from left) Bob Simbric, Helen Freeman and Christine Schneider at Camp Verde Unified School District and (bottom from left) Jeannette Estes, Diana Foltz and Jackie Harshman at Beaver Creek School.

Camp Verde and Beaver Creek school boards will have new faces but similar issues to face as they head into financial battle. Camp Verde will not have the boost of a budget override.

With Tuesday's election, Helen Freeman was re-elected to the Camp Verde Unified School District's governing board, but it was former board member Bob Simbric who was the top vote-getter of the night. There were five candidates for three seats.

Early on, though two precincts have not reported, it appears newcomer Christine Schneider will fill the third vacancy.

Simbric previously put in a total of 25 years on this board and does not think a lot has changed since he last held the office.

"We absolutely need experience on the board, and I'm glad that the voters have entrusted me again," Simbric said.

"I think the biggest thing I would hope to accomplish is taking a look at other districts and how they apportion out their dollars," Simbric said. "We can get support from Tim Carter and other out there and find ways of doing things that are different than what we have done in the past. I'll be trying to investigate with the rest of the board how we might be able to deliver education and support the teachers and kids and then address administrative issues as we find out more information."

"I'm happy to serve again," Freeman said. "There are many challenges we're looking at, but we have the right people to help us to meet those challenges."

Camp Verde voters did not give the school a budget override, as the question was defeated handily on Tuesday's ballot. Neither Simbric nor Freeman was surprised by that result, and both said the district needs to look more closely at ways to be more creative in educating children with a small budget.

"We need to take a really hard look at how we're spending our money; I still think we have not been as thorough as we could be," Freeman said. "With 204 also going down, we need to regroup and look at what we're doing and cut everything we can before we bring it back to the voters," she said.

Like Simbric, she said the current financial situation for education may make schools look much different than they do now.

At Beaver Creek School, long-time school volunteer Jeannette Estes was shocked to receive the most votes as four candidates vied for three seats. She had more than 27 percent of the votes.

"I'm thrilled. I can't thank the community enough," Estes said. "I'll give them 100 percent."

She's not going onto the board with an agenda and was just as prepared to lose the election and help out in some other way. "I just want to stay calm and think things through and my homework before the meetings," she said. "Our heart and soul has been with the school since we moved here."

Also coming onto the board is Diana Foltz. "It's exciting and I can't wait," she says. "I look forward to getting the job done and helping everything go just great."

The early returns have Jackie Harshman edging incumbent Gareld Hardy by more than 40 votes. The numbers are unofficial.

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