PORTAGE | Incumbent Debra Ekdahl appeared late Tuesday to have retained her seat on the Portage Township School Board, defeating three other contenders for the at-large seat.
With 30 of 33 Portage precincts reporting, Ekdahl had an approximate 700 vote lead over her next closest opponent, Ken Lorenz.
Newcomer Jessica Bailey won the 3rd District School Board seat, besting two others in the race.
Bailey received more than twice as many votes as her nearest competitor.
Bailey will replace longtime School Board member Glenda Owens, who decided to retire from the board effective Dec. 31.
Bailey defeated Billy Coker and David Czilli.
"I am just ecstatic," Bailey said after her victory. "It is amazing. I learned a lot, and I'm excited to be on the School Board."
"We did a lot of hard work, a lot of talking to people, a lot of door knocking," she said about her victory.
Bailey added she will be meeting with Owens prior to taking office.
Bailey, an adjunct professor at Ivy Tech Community College, is a member of the school district's Developmental Asset Committee and has been active in school parent organizations.
The at-large seat saw Ekdahl challenged by Lorenz, Leonard Clark and Rex Hood Jr.
Ekdahl, who could not be reached Tuesday night, is an English teacher at Hammond's Morton High School. She is also a member of the Indiana Department of Education Reform Cabinet and a member of the city's Park Board.
She has been active in school and civic organizations.