Judie Cordts went to bed Tuesday night thinking her School Board campaign would end unsuccessfully.
With no money to spend on a campaign, Cordts relied on a handful of supporters and a Facebook page to get her message across. She was in for a surprise when she woke up Wednesday.
“I was delighted,” said Cordts, who will represent District 4 for the Del Norte County Unified School District Board of Trustees. “I think it shows it doesn’t take money, it just takes people who care and are dedicated and willing to put out the effort.”
The retired teacher had 2,720 votes, with some still to be counted. She will replace Jim Maready, who did not seek re-election, as the board’s District 4 representative. Fort Dick Bible Church Pastor Roger Daley had 2,296 votes and clinical psychologist Tod Roy 1,956.
Incumbent Frances Costello will keep her District 3 seat. Costello had 4,165 votes while her challenger, retired teacher Edna Smith, had 3,093.
“I’m a little tired this morning, but I’m very very pleased,” Costello said. “We were watching the election and we were cheering for a lot of things. I’m very pleased that Proposition 30 passed. I just think that’s wonderful.”
The passage of Proposition 30, Gov. Jerry Brown’s proposed tax initiative, saves Del Norte County Unified School District from a $1.4 million mid-year budget cut, Costello said. But the board will still have to look at ways to cut costs. Increasing student achievement and attendance will also continue to be top priorities, she said.
Another project the board will keep an eye on as Costello enters her second term and Cordts begins her first is the gym construction at Smith River School. The district’s energy-saving and recycling programs are also priorities, Costello said.
“We’ve been focused so hard for this last year on the budget that it seemed to kind of overwhelm everything else,” Costello said. “The No. 1 thing is student achievement.”
Cordts said she would like to offer more support to students with disabilities. Test scores and reading need to improve as well, she said. Cordts added that she would also like to address the concept of fair hearings, which happen when parents aren’t happy with how their child is being treated within the district.
“I’d like to see that get turned around to where (parents) feel that they’re getting their needs met,” she said, adding that communication will be a priority with her. “I want to be very available and understand more.”
Costello, who taught in the school district for 30 years, said Cordts will be a great person to work with.
“I feel like for me, I know Judie Cordts and I don’t think that she’s coming with any particular agenda,” she said. “I think the board we have is so enjoyable to work with. They are so cooperative and we come from different perspectives. We all have different things to contribute.”