Two of three vying for a spot on Bryan City Schools Board of Education have been elected, including two newcomers who defeated 24-year board member and community servant Thomas Lingvai for two, four-year terms.
Newcomers Dustin Schlachter, 1,392 votes (39.44 percent) and Ben Camarillo, 1,382 votes (39.16 percent) finished first and second with Lingvai finishing third with 755 votes (21.39 percent).
With board president and veteran member Cindra Keeler not seeking re-election, the pair of Schlachter and Camarillo will join a still relatively new corps of board members including Scott Benedict, Mike Stockman and Deb Opdycke in helping steer Williams County’s largest school district, with approximately 2,000 students on campus, into the future.
In a similar fashion to board of education members statewide, both men will be tasked with continuing to roll out new and innovate existing career and trade-focused initiatives in light of both state mandates and advisory from local manufacturing firms.
As co-owner of Advanced Rehabilitation Technology, Schlachter, 38, would appear well-suited to provide some advocacy for that process.
“I’m just thankful to have the opportunity to serve the community and the school system,” said Schlachter. “It’s an opportunity to promote the strong school we have and I look forward to serving.”
Schlachter hopes he can call on the experienced Lingvai for guidance, when needed, moving forward.
“I’m grateful for Toms experience, knowledge and service to the community,” said Schlachter. “I look forward to continuing to seek his input.”
“He’s a good guy and has the best interest of the school at heart.”
Similarly to the career focus Schlachter brings to the table, candidate Ben Camarillo, 45, a lifelong Bryanite, offers up a CNC machining background and has also served as a band program volunteer for 25 years.
Neither Camarillo nor Lingvai returned a request for comment by press time Tuesday night.
“I have volunteered for the Bryan City Schools band program and have great interest in students achieving their goals and being successful,” said Camarillo in a prepared election questionnaire sent to the Bryan Times. “Over the years I have seen first hand how Administrative decisions have impacted students, staff and faculty.”
“I also would like to be in a position to help improve communication within the district, as well as within the community. I believe our schools and community can best be served by a diverse group of board members with different backgrounds. Diversity is key for providing confident leadership.”