Incumbents fall on Parkview School Board
Parkview School Board (top 2)
*Elizabeth M. Brockwell 752
*Clay Hammes 749
John King (I) 591
Devon Gookin (I) 426
ORFORDVILLE Two newcomers with opposing views on closing Newark Elementary School will join the Parkview School Board after defeating incumbents Tuesday.
Elizabeth Brockwell was elected with 752 votes, followed closely by Clay Hammes with 749 votes. Brockwell supports keeping the rural elementary school open, while Hammes has said closing it appears to be the best option.
Incumbent President John King received 591 votes while incumbent Devon Gookin brought in 426 votes.
“I look forward to the opportunity of being a part of bringing some positive changes to Parkview and work on some of the issues that are facing us right now,” Hammes said. “I think long-term I’m excited about our potential.”
The fact that Hammes and Brockwell, representing both sides of the Newark issue, received nearly the same number of votes means “at some point, we have to find the compromise,” Hammes said.
“We have to come to terms with the fact our district has some budget deficits that are only going to get worse,” he said. “We’ve got to get together and make some decisions that put the Parkview district in the best position to succeed in the future.”
Hammes is a member of the special committee developing a long-term facility plan for the district to make a recommendation to the board later this year. The committee met for two-and-a-half hours Tuesday night, and Hammes said committee members “certainly have different opinions.”
“It’s important to work through that on the committee,” he said. “We need to provide a uniform plan that has a single focus for the board to consider.”
Brockwell, an elementary music teacher in the Janesville School District, could not be reached Tuesday night.
She previously told the Gazette she was running because she wants someone on the board who has experience in education and can be an advocate for teachers and students. She also wanted to see a female on the board, she said.