MARYVILLE, Mo. — Once all the votes were tallied Tuesday night at the Nodaway County Administration Building two of the four candidates for Maryville R-II Board of Education led the pack with close vote totals.
According to unofficial results from the Nodaway County Clerk's office, Traci Westfall received 1,255 votes and while J.R. Kurz received 1,159 votes.
Monica McCullough received 897 votes and Jill Baker garnered 686 votes.
It was an emotional victory for Westfall as she prepares to help guide the district along with Kurz and all the other members of the board.
“This isn't about me it’s about the kids and the community,” she said. “The community has done so much for my family through the years. I really feel like I need to give back.”
It was a big day in the Kurz household as well. Not only was it winning a spot on the school board, but his oldest daughter Kennedy, a sophomore soccer player for the Spoofhounds, scored two goals in Maryville’s 7-0 victory earlier in the evening.
“I was probably more excited about that than the election,” he said.
Kurz congratulated all the candidates on the ballot and all those who participated in democracy.
“That’s what makes our community so great is the willingness of so many (to serve). I’m happy to serve and do my part. I’m looking forward to getting our kids and staff back to a sense of normalcy next year.”
For Westfall, this is a homecoming of sorts as she returns to the district where she went to school.
“I finally get to wear this green again,” she said of being able to wear her alma mater’s colors after retiring from teaching at Savannah, Missouri.
“I thought of this like going back out for the team again,” she said. “This is my home and I love the people here. I’m so grateful and this is so humbling.”
Westfall and Kurz will replace Elaine Wilson and Frank Grispino, who both decided not to seek reelection after multiple terms on the board.
The new school board members will be sworn in at the district meeting scheduled for Wednesday, April 19 at the district office.
Full unofficial results are available here.