School board candidates ready to work

School board member Sally Saddler and Juneau School District Superintendant Glenn Gelbrich have much to smile about as Saddler elected to another term and the two school related bond measures were passed by voters.

Juneau School District Board of Education incumbent Sally Saddler had overwhelming support for reelection. While write-in votes lagged. write-in candidate Sean O’Brien was pleased with the results.

Both were running for two open seats.

Saddler garnered 4,185 votes in preliminary results and there were 1,280 write-in votes.

“I will just keep working,” she said. “I’m excited about the work we did at our retreat. We came up with seven great indicators we want to be monitoring. If we can meet those indicators we can be on our way to becoming a world-class school district. We will actively work toward increasing our graduation rate.”
She said the board also will focus on getting all students to read at grade level.

“We really want to focus at the elementary level, making sure students are equipped with the basic reading skills,” Saddler said.

“A very wise person once told me — up until grade three you learn to read, after grade three you read to learn.”

While Saddler wishes more people had turned out to vote, she was appreciative of those who did.

“Thank you to the people and the community of Juneau for the vote of confidence,” she said. “I’m just ready to roll up my sleeves and get back to work.”

O’Brien was pleased with the amount of write-ins.

“I appreciate the support,” he said. “I was running an election (campaign) with very little money, it’s obviously very positive and very much appreciated. ... I am really happy about the number of people who wrote in for me, assuming hopefully they are for me. And there is disappointment there aren’t more people voting.”

O’Brien said his first meeting with the school board will be via phone, but he plans to spend time getting up to speed on the issues before the board, while looking toward his campaign ideals.

“I’m very interested in helping out and improving the quality of our schools,” he said.

O’Brien also intends to help the district move the strategic plan forward in helping with student achievement.

On Friday the Canvass Review Board is expected to count the absentee and questioned ballots and should tally write-ins on Monday.

Tuesday the results should be certified.

• Contact reporter Sarah Day at 523-2279 or at


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