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Decatur votes Clevenger, Wetzel and Reynolds onto school board

Incumbent Bill Clevenger won Tuesday’s election alongside two newcomers, Will Wetzel and Mark Reynolds. Flourish, Alex Coleman/Illinois Public Media

DECATUR — Decatur Public Schools will have two new members by late April.

Incumbent Bill Clevenger won Tuesday’s consolidated election alongside two newcomers, Will Wetzel and Mark Reynolds.

Three additional candidates – Hannah Wolfe, Jacob Jenkins and Misty Fronk – did not earn enough votes to win a seat.

As Illinois Public Media previously reported, Reynolds supports a partial ban of younger student access to LGBTQ-focused books. Clevenger and Wetzel believe school administrators should be the ones to set curricula, not board members.

Macon County Clerk Josh Tanner said turnout so far is down slightly from past years.

“We have fewer voters but they voted early and by mail significantly higher than they have in the past,” Tanner said.

He said many voters stuck with their pandemic-era habit of voting by mail. Others requested ballots by mail so they could spend more time researching their candidates after both state and local district lines changed.

So far, it looks like about 13 percent of eligible voters participated in Tuesday’s school board election. That does not include voters who mailed in their ballots close to or on the day of the elections. Tanner’s office has two more weeks to receive and count those votes.

Tanner said the new members will join the school board in the first regularly scheduled meeting after that. According to the DPS website, that meeting will take place on April 25.

Emily Hays is a reporter for Illinois Public Media. Follow her on Twitter @amihatt.

Emily Hays

Emily Hays

Emily Hays started at WILL in October 2021 after three-plus years in local newsrooms in Virginia and Connecticut. She has won state awards for her housing coverage at Charlottesville Tomorrow and her education reporting at the New Haven Independent. Emily graduated from Yale University where she majored in History and South Asian Studies.

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