Bird, Molyneux join respective boards by write-in

Travis Molyneux

The Sigourney school board election on September 12 proved to one of the most well-attended school elections in recent years. 10 candidates from a diverse range of backgrounds ran against each other for three four-year At-Large seats on the Board of Education. All the while, no candidate declared for the open vacancy seat left after a resignation in June. As such, this particular election came down to write-in votes.

            After the official canvass on Friday, Sept. 15, Melissa Bird of Hayesville was declared the winner of the two year seat, garnering 34 write in votes to gain the majority over a plethora of names as different as the elections for the At-Large Director seats.

            “When I first heard I was elected to the position by write-in, I felt a bit surprised, but also very grateful,” Bird said. “I accepted the position because I honestly have been interested in being a part of the school board.”

            Bird lives in Hayesville with her husband Shawn, a Sigourney graduate, and their two children, Samantha and Gavin, both who are currently students at Sigourney High School. Currently a Registrar for the Iowa Department of Public Health, Bird believes her experience in state and county government will help her contribute to the board and lead to creative thinking for the district.

            “I feel I bring an understanding of how government works, how the state budget is made, and how laws are to be read,” Bird said. “I’m very interested in learning about the restrictive budgeting system in our schools and more about what obstacles our school faces.”

            Bird joins Cody Branstad, Allan Glandon and Steven Seeley as newcomers along with current board members in Denise Conrad, Chuck Moore and Mark O’Rourke to make up the 2017-2018 board, which will continue to oversee improvements to the school district under the voted PPEL and other challenges ahead for Sigourney.

            “I hope we as a board can think outside of the box to solve our district’s problems,” Bird said. “As a mother of two children in the district and a taxpayer, I want to invest my time and effort any way I can, and I feel being on the board is one way I can.”

            An open four-year At-Large seat was also available on the Tri-County Board of Education this election after the resignation of Regina Garber earlier this year. Berdette Ogden, a former board member herself, temporarily filled in the seat until another individual was elected. As with Sigourney’s open seat, no candidate applied to run and the election came down to a write-in. Travis Molyneux emerged with the highest number of write-ins with 34.

            “When I learned that I had been elected, I saw it as an opportunity to help our school,” Molyneux said. “This board is about making our school better for kids.”

            Molyneux farms between What Cheer and Gibson with his family; wife Leia, and children Brandt and Lauren. Travis and Leia are both graduates of the school, while Brandt and Lauren are current students. Molyneux says he knows the school well, but he has much to learn about his new position as a board member.

            “I honestly want to get my feet wet first and learn everything I can over the next few sessions,” Molyneux said.

            Both new school board members have each been sworn in by their respective districts and have already attended their first meetings this month.