Collette, Bookhart, Webb set to join ACS board

Nov. 9—ANDERSON — Administrators at Anderson Community Schools have for months been anticipating considerable turnover on the district's board of trustees.

Tuesday night, they found out the identities of the three people who will join the board in January.

Candidates backed by the Anderson Federation of Teachers won two of three contested races, with Robert "Buckie" Bookhart set to join Mandy Webb and JoAnna Collette as new members. Board President Pat Hill comfortably won re-election in the South district.

Webb ran unopposed in South District 2 and will replace board Vice President Jeff Barranco.

Collette, who served on the board from 1994 through 1998, defeated Kris Ockomon by 112 votes to capture the at-large seat being vacated by Diane Airhart.

"I totally expected to be swept away by Kris Ockomon," Collette said. "I ran because my heart and passion was with the schools. I've done this before. I've been on the school board before, and I just felt like it was my time."

Hill captured a third term on the board, outdistancing challenger Andrew Jones by about 1,900 votes. He said he campaigned on the ideas of continuing the progress the district is making academically and building collaborative relationships with incoming board members.

"I appreciate everybody who had faith in me to continue to go forward and make Anderson Community Schools better and continue the progress that we've started in helping students and helping the community," Hill said.

"We'll go on with some new faces and new ideas and go forward from there."

Bookhart comfortably won the Central District No. 2 seat, drawing nearly 46% of the vote in a three-way race with Peter Lyon and Denise Sanders.

Calls seeking comment from Bookhart went unreturned as of press time.

Follow Andy Knight on Twitter @Andrew_J_Knight, or call 765-640-4809.