Calfee, Cogdill beat incumbents
by CHRISTY ARMSTRONG Banner Staff Writer
Aug 08, 2014 | 2307 views | 0 0 comments | 23 23 recommendations | email to a friend | print
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Two new faces will be seen at the front of the room at local school board meetings this fall.

Dianna Calfee and Charlie Cogdill both won the seats of incumbent school board members after the election Thursday.

Cogdill will be an at-large representative on the Cleveland City Schools Board of Education, while Calfee will represent the 4th District on the Bradley County Board of Education.

Calfee is set to take over the seat of incumbent Troy Weathers, and Cogdill will replace Richard Shaw.

Of the 2,068 who voted for the 4th District seat of Bradley County’s school board, Calfee received 1,121 votes over Weathers’ 947 and zero write-in votes, which gave her 54.21 percent to win.

“I’d like to thank everyone in the 4th District who supported me,” Calfee said. “I look forward to working collaboratively with the school board.” 

While she said she sees areas in need of improvement and has some ideas she would like to share, Calfee noted that “we’re doing a lot of great things in Bradley County.” 

In the Cleveland school board at-large race, Cogdill won with 2,595 of the 4,484 votes, or 57.87 percent. His opponent, Shaw, received 1,882 votes, and there were also seven write-in votes.

Cogdill could not be reached for comment before press time.

The chairmen of both school boards had positive things to say about the future of the boards, despite seeing some school board members lose their seats.

“I think this is a very new and different board,” Bradley County Board of Education Chair Vicki Beaty said. “I hope that the school board can continue some of the things we’ve accomplished so far.”

Beaty was herself up for re-election to the 2nd District county school board seat. Nobody else was on the ballot for that position, and she won with 1,761 of the 1,810 votes, with 97.29 percent of the vote. Write-in votes accounted for 49 of the votes for that seat.

“There was no loss for the school board,” Cleveland City Schools Board of Education Chair Tom Cloud said. “Both of them would be a tremendous addition. … We hate to see Richard go, but we welcome Charlie in.”

Cloud won his bid for re-election to the District 5 city school board seat with 99.72 percent of the 1,078 votes. While he had no opponent on the ballot, three voters decided to submit write-in votes.

Other school board races included Bradley County school board member Christy Critchfield’s win over Tammy Magouirk and two uncontested city school board races.

Critchfield, the incumbent on the District 6 county school board seat, won by 76.25 percent, receiving 1,191 of the 1,562 votes. Magouirk received 363 votes, and there were eight write-in votes.

“I am thrilled that the 6th District had enough confidence in me to give me four more years,” Critchfield said.

The two other school board races on the ballot were to decide who would serve on the city school board. Two incumbents ran unopposed and won.

Dawn Robinson, who represents District 3 on the city school board, received 1,131 of the 1,135 votes, which accounted for 99.65 percent. There were also four write-in votes.

District 4 city school board member Peggy Pesterfield received 99.66 percent of the 1,173 votes. She had 1,169 votes, and four people submitted write-in votes.

Both school board chairmen said they were ready to see their groups tackle the concerns of each school system, regardless of whether or not they will be elected as chairmen this year.

The Bradley County school board will elect its chairman and vice-chairman during its September meeting, Beaty said. Cloud said the city school board is expected to do the same in December.

Cloud said major goals for the city school board this year will be overseeing the beginning of the construction of a new gym at Cleveland High School and reviving discussions of a new elementary school being built. Beaty said she would like to see the Bradley County board continue to strive for transparency in the budgeting process, as well as emphasize the importance of capital projects like ones being undertaken at Lake Forest Middle School.

New and returning school board members will be officially sworn in to their offices during the school board meetings taking place in September.

All of the local school board members on the ballot ran as independent candidates rather than Democratic or Republican ones.

Many Bradley County voters skipped over the school board races on their ballots, choosing not to have their say on who will working with the local school systems. There were 13,611 votes cast overall, with 8,449 absentee and early votes and 5,162 votes on Election Day.

Inset Quote:

“There was no loss for the school board. Both of them would be a tremendous addition. … We hate to see Richard go, but we welcome Charlie in.” — Tom Cloud