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Incumbents Ardinger, Cogswell keep Concord school board seats; two newcomers join them

  • Tom Croteau<br/><br/>( Alexander Cohn/ Monitor staff)<br/><br/>

    Tom Croteau

    ( Alexander Cohn/ Monitor staff)

  • Oliver Spencer<br/><br/>( Alexander Cohn/ Monitor staff)<br/><br/>

    Oliver Spencer

    ( Alexander Cohn/ Monitor staff)

  • Clint Cogswell<br/><br/>( Alexander Cohn/ Monitor staff)<br/><br/>

    Clint Cogswell

    ( Alexander Cohn/ Monitor staff)

  • Kass Ardinger<br/><br/>( Alexander Cohn/ Monitor staff)<br/><br/>

    Kass Ardinger

    ( Alexander Cohn/ Monitor staff)

  • Tom Croteau<br/><br/>( Alexander Cohn/ Monitor staff)<br/><br/>
  • Oliver Spencer<br/><br/>( Alexander Cohn/ Monitor staff)<br/><br/>
  • Clint Cogswell<br/><br/>( Alexander Cohn/ Monitor staff)<br/><br/>
  • Kass Ardinger<br/><br/>( Alexander Cohn/ Monitor staff)<br/><br/>

Concord School Board President Kass Ardinger was awarded another term last night, as was Vice Chairman Clint Cogswell.

Two newcomers, Tom Croteau and Oliver Spencer, will also join the board.

Croteau is claiming the seat left vacant when former board member Jack Dunn resigned to become the district’s business manager. Spencer edged out George “Rusty” Cofrin by 131 votes.

In all, eight people competed for four open seats in the two school board races decided yesterday. Croteau will serve two years, the amount of time remaining in Dunn’s term when he stepped down. The other winners will serve three-year terms.

With all wards reporting, Ardinger had earned 9,071 votes, and Cogswell finished in second place with 8,631. Spencer took 6,327 votes to Cofrin’s 6,196.

Turnout was high at polling locations across the city, but officials at some wards said many voters declined to take the school board ballot. Still, Croteau spent the morning reminding voters about the local race. Just before lunchtime, he stood outside St. John’s parish hall, smiling and waving his maroon-and-white campaign sign.

His efforts appeared to pay off, with 5,914 voters casting ballots in his favor. Eric Weiner, Patrick Taylor and Ridgely Mauck finished well behind.

Croteau, 59, is a former teacher and administrator who is looking forward to working with the more experienced board members, whom he described as a “pretty distinguished group of people.”

“We’ve got some tough issues coming up,” he said. “But I’m going to really dig in and do some homework to make sure I’m on the top of the issues when I get there in January.”

Ardinger, who has been on the board since 2006, was equally pleased at the prospect of collaborating with new board members. She’s also looking forward to helping the district refine its instructional methods.

“I’m excited at looking at ways to improve outcomes for all our students,” she said.

Cogswell, a former school administrator, has similar goals.

“The excitement I feel is in the area of instruction,” he said. “And letting the public see some of the things we’re doing at our elementary schools, middle school and high school.”

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