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Taylor, Upchurch Sworn in as Newest School Board Members

An+onlooker+takes+a+photo+of+Upchurch+and+Taylor%2C+the+two+new+D38+School+Board+members.+
An onlooker takes a photo of Upchurch and Taylor, the two new D38 School Board members.

An onlooker takes a photo of Upchurch and Taylor, the two new D38 School Board members.

Photo by Alexis Olmstead

Photo by Alexis Olmstead

An onlooker takes a photo of Upchurch and Taylor, the two new D38 School Board members.

By Alexis Olmstead, Print Editor-in-Chief

There is a new conservative majority on the D38 school board after Chris Taylor and Tiffiney Upchurch defeated incumbent Sherri Hawkins and AFA graduate Thomas De Angelis in an upset election this past month.

Photo by Alexis Olmstead
Upchurch and Taylor take the oath of office as President Clawson swears them in.

Hawkins, the former president of the school board, hoped to retain her seat in District 1, but the voters had other plans. Taylor, a certified public accountant, earned his constituents’ votes through his seeming “unwavering integrity” and commitment to restoring local control in the school district. After being sworn in on Wednesday, November 29th, he was quick to ask questions and provide his thoughts on the mill levy tax increase, further showcasing his dedication to his position.

Meanwhile, Upchurch took the slot for District 3 after beating De Angelis by a margin of only 844 votes. The former preschool teacher has been actively involved in D38 for several years, serving as the chairman of the Lewis Palmer Elementary School Advisory Committee and being a member of the School Accountability and Advisory Committee. This experience, along with a tendency to consider and sympathize with those holding diverse opinions, boosted her above her opponent.

Both new members were officially sworn in this past Wednesday in the D38 administration building. Reporters, along with Taylor’s and Upchurch’s family members, were present to witness this ideological shift on the board. As the photographers snapped photos of the two taking their oath of office, Taylor and Upchurch beamed. After the ceremony, all the members present (which included Clawson, Sampayo, Taylor, Upchurch, and Pfoff) sat down at the roundtable to discuss more serious matters.

First off was the nominations. Sampayo started off by nominating Mr. Clawson for President who was appointed with a unanimous vote. Next, Clawson appointed Upchurch to be Vice-President, Sampayo to be Secretary, and Taylor to be Treasurer, all of which were approved. Considering that three out of the four positions will be held by conservative members, it is likely that policies will lean in favor of more local district control.

Finally, the afternoon ended with a discussion about the mill levy tax increase, of which the school board approved with a unanimous vote. These taxes will go towards programs within the schools, including resources for new technology.

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