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Amon wins Willmar School Board seat

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WILLMAR — Mary Amon was elected to the Willmar School Board Tuesday in a special election.

Amon, 52, a Willmar physician, was on the ballot with Monica Villars, 60, an artist and retired Willmar teacher.

Amon received 591 votes, to Villars' 202 votes. A third candidate, Katherine McGill, had withdrawn from the race earlier this month, but her name was still on the ballot. She received 5 votes.

About 6 percent of the district's total voters participated in the election. A total of 798 voters cast ballots; the district has about 13,250 voters.

Amon will serve the rest of the term of the late board Chairman Jared Anez, who died unexpectedly in March. The term expires at the end of 2018.

The School Board has been working with six members since March and will have its usual seven members when Amon takes office at the next board meeting in September.

Amon could not be reached Tuesday evening.

In a question-and-answer submission to the Tribune earlier this month, Amon said she was running because of her interest in government and because she had reached a point in her life when she felt she had the time to devote to the School Board.

She listed some of the top issues she would like to tackle on the board — recruitment and retention of staff members, fiscal responsibility and communication with the public.

Villars congratulated Amon and wished her well. "I'm sure she will do a wonderful job," she said in a telephone interview Tuesday evening.

"I want to thank everyone who came out to vote," especially on such a nice summer day, said School Board Vice Chairman Mike Reynolds. Reynolds and Superintendent Jeff Holm were at the Willmar Education and Arts Center while election judges completed their work.

"I'm happy to be welcoming Dr. Mary Amon to the board," Reynolds said. Amon has been active in the community for many years, he said.

Holm expressed his thanks to all the candidates. "I always appreciate people who are willing to do this job," he added.

Linda Vanderwerf

I cover education issues for the West Central Tribune and have worked for the paper since 1995. I have worked in journalism since 1981.

Follow me on Twitter: @lindavanderwerf

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