Portland voters elected Sarah Thompson, Jenna Vendil and Holly Seeliger to the school board on Tuesday.

Thompson, an incumbent, overwhelmingly defeated Paul Okot and Vendil, the other incumbent, beat Josephine Okot by just 459 votes. Seeliger was unopposed for the District 2 seat.

Thompson was re-elected to her at-large seat, receiving 10,187 votes, 71 percent, to Paul Okot’s 4,234 votes, 29 percent.

Vendil, the District 1 representative was re-elected to a third term by a vote of 1,482 to 1,023, or 59 percent to 41 percent, for Josephine Okot. She ran unsuccessfuly for school board in 2011 and is Paul Okot’s sister.

Thompson cited her experience in her campaign, and said her top priorities are hiring a good superintendent and keeping “a healthy budget.”

Vendil said she wanted to continue her work on the board, citing the relationships she established with families in the district.

The election comes as district officials and the nine-member school board are facing several major issues. The board is just beginning a search for a new superintendent, expected to be named by next summer. The district and board are also in the midst of the multi-year process of replacing Hall Elementary School. At the same time, district leadership has completely turned over, with new staff in all senior positions in the last 18 months.

Noel K. Gallagher can be reached at 791-6387 or at:

[email protected]

Twitter: noelinmaine

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