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Bettermann, Richter, Anderson elected to BE School Board

Randy Bettermann has served on the Brandon-Evansville School Board for a dozen years, and is grateful that he was re-elected for another term.

"It means a lot to me that I was re-elected and people have put their confidence in me to continue to do the work I started," said Bettermann, who expressed that he was torn on whether to run again because he no longer has kids in the district, and added that the last couple of years on the board "have been less than pleasant."

However, he said he felt the pull to finish what has been started with the facility issues and thanked everyone who supported him and voted for him during Tuesday's election.

Bettermann, the only incumbent on the ballot, was the top vote-getter out of the 10 candidates who filed for the three open school board seats. He received 675 of the 4,315 votes cast. With 10 names on the ballot, votes were spread pretty thin among all the candidates.

Also winning seats on the board were Diane Richter, with 525 votes, and Jana Anderson with 514. Those two will replace Carol Juul and Shane Englund, neither of whom ran for re-election.

Bettermann wasn't necessarily surprised by the results as he didn't really have any expectations.

"My plan from the start was to put my opinions and beliefs out there through the newspaper interviews and if people disagreed and didn't want to vote for me based on that, so be it," he said.

"I just wanted to be honest with people so they know where I stand. With the election over and with two new board members, we can get back to work on the facilities planning and on the day-to-day business of the school district."

Richter, who lives in Brandon and has children in the district, said the communities of Brandon and Evansville were fortunate to have a quality selection of candidates to choose from.

"I didn't honestly know what to expect with the election having so many candidates and only three seats available," she said. "However, I did know that the outcome was important to the district, hoped that people would show up to vote and they did."

Richter plans to continue to actively listen to residents' thoughts on the district's facility challenges. She hopes they will attend one of the community meetings to hear the results of the listening sessions. The meetings are planned for Thursday, Nov. 15, at 5:30 p.m. at the Evansville Senior Center and 6:45 p.m. in the Brandon School gym.

"Let's stay focused on the children, their quality of education and preparing them for the next step in life," she said. "To me, focusing on the children encompasses curriculum, special education, teachers and other staff, safety and much more."

Anderson is a graduate of Evansville High School and now lives in the district with her husband and two children. When contacted by the Echo Press Wednesday, she said, "I'm happy to be elected and am excited for this opportunity to serve our district."

Vote totals

Of 5,374 registered voters in the Brandon-Evansville School District — which not only includes Douglas County, but Grant and Ottertail counties — roughly 80 percent voted in the school board election. Only 1,059 (19.7 percent) of registered voters did not vote.

Here's a look at the numbers:

• Randy Bettermann — 675 (winner)

• Diane Richter — 525 (winner)

• Jana Anderson — 514 (winner)

• Rachel Wagner — 471

• Jaci Stepan — 469

• David Berry — 438

• Rebecca Boesl — 383

• Amanda Johnson — 346

• Ben Rusch — 315

• Katherine VanderWyst — 166

Celeste Edenloff

Celeste is a reporter for the Alexandria Echo Press and has lived in the Alexandria Lakes Area since 1997. She first worked for the Echo Press as a reporter from 1999 to 2011, and returned in June 2016 to report on the community she calls home. Besides writing articles for the Echo Press, she has a blog, “Newspaper Girl on the Run.” Celeste is on a continuous healthy living journey and loves to teach bootcamp fitness classes and run. She has participated in more than 200 races with her husband, Al, covering the 5K, 10K, 10-mile and half-marathon (13.1 mile) distances.

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