MUNSTER | Incumbents Judith Florczak, John Friend and Paula Nellans have retained their seats on the Munster School Board.
Six residents, including three incumbents, ran in the nonpartisan election this year.
Friend and Nellans were the top vote-getters, with Florczak and newcomer Sheryl Georgas running neck and neck.
Florczak, 70, has been on the board for 16 years and won her fifth term.
She considered the close race a positive sign.
"The candidates worked hard, and it’s a good thing because it shows the community is involved and interested,” she said.
Nellans, 59, has been on the board a total of 18 years and took nothing in the race for granted.
“The numbers show us that maybe we need to be more open and give out more information to the public,” she said.
Florczak also encouraged residents to come to the open public meetings, read the district’s newsletter and call board members directly with concerns.
Friend, 77, has been on the board for 12 years and won his fourth term. This was his first contested race.
He agreed the board needed to do a better job of getting the word out on its activities.
Newcomers had cited concerns over the lease-purchase of laptop computers more than a year ago.
“The computers were a great idea, but it was handled poorly,” Friend said. “But it was the right thing to do, and it’s been proven it’s the right thing to do.
“We need to start working on it a year in advance, working with community groups and the parent teacher organizations. We did the whole thing in three months.
"As a board, we were very reluctant, but we had the advice of respected administrators, so we went with it.”
The decision was made with the interests of the students put first, Florczak said.
“It was the best thing to do for the kids,” she said.