Evans, Ortman-Fouse leading school board primary -- Gazette.Net



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This story was updated at 12:15 p.m. on June 25, 2014.

Shebra Evans and Jill Ortman-Fouse likely will face off in November for a Montgomery County school board seat after grabbing the most votes in Tuesday’s primary election, according to unofficial numbers from the Montgomery County Board of Elections.

With all precincts reporting, Ortman-Fouse, whose school experience includes PTA and advocacy roles, received about 33.94 percent of the vote.

Evans, who has held leadership positions in the county PTA, received about 31.48 percent of the vote.

As the top two vote recipients in the nonpartisan race, they will advance to the general election.

Ortman-Fouse’s platform has included a focus on growing Montgomery County Public Schools’ community partnerships and improved responsiveness to community members voicing concern and input.

“It feels really good to know that my campaign’s message resonated with so many people in our wonderful community,” she said.

Ortman-Fouse said she thinks county residents are “ready for news ideas and new ways of doing business.”

In her campaign, Evans said she wanted to expand opportunities that teach students job skills and to direct more resources to new and existing initiatives to help close the achievement gap.

Evans said she thinks voters recognized that her desire to help improve the school system is genuine.

“I’m really excited to have the opportunity to bring forward some really good ideas,” she said.

Ortman-Fouse and Evans were among four candidates running for the at-large school board seat.

Edward Amatetti, who taught in the county school system for seven years, received about 20.66 percent of the vote.

Amatetti could not be reached Wednesday morning for comment.

Merry Eisner-Heidorn, who has experience working in the county PTA and school system work groups, received about 13.92 percent of the vote.

Eisner-Heidorn said she remains dedicated to education advocacy in the community and will continue to push for changes to school bell times as legislative director of Start School Later.

“I’m so honored to have received all those votes,” she said.

The Nov. 4 general election will include contests for four board of education seats. In addition to the at-large seat race, three school board incumbents will be vying to keep their positions. The incumbents are board member Judith Docca who holds the District 1 seat, board Vice President Patricia O’Neill who holds the District 3 seat and board member Michael Durso who holds the District 5 seat.

lpowers@gazette.net