Nearly final election results Tuesday night showed Luke Muszkiewicz and Jeff Hindoien winning seats on the Helena Public Schools Board of Trustees. Both will serve three-year terms.
Muszkiewicz received 8,809 votes, Hindoien 5,670, Annie Hanshew 4,632, Erin Turner 4,505, Pamela Attardo 3,428, and Jason Pettit 1,933.
Only provisional ballots remain to be counted.
All the candidates are newcomers. The two incumbents, Aidan Myhre and Cherche Prezeau, chose not to re-up.
Muszkiewicz, 39, is a software engineer and senior manager at Anderson ZurMuehlen; and Hindoien, 52, is an attorney with the Montana Secretary of State’s office.
“You know, I’m thrilled,” said Muszkiewicz, who garnered about 30 percent of the vote.
“I’m excited to serve as a trustee of the Helena School Board,” he said. “And I’m especially thankful that the community voted to invest in our public schools by passing the bond. I think that’s the biggest and most hopeful news of the night.
“I think this is a huge win for Helena. I’m going to continue to do what I’ve done since Feb. 17, when I started this campaign, which is to get out to the people themselves in the greater Helena Valley and hear what’s important to them and try to translate their hopes and dreams and priorities into good board policies and good board decisions. ... We cannot continue to move forward unless we’re focused on the priorities of everyone in the Helena Valley.
“What I love about this bond proposal is it brought Central home. It did what’s right for Bryant Elementary. And it also did what’s right for Jim Darcy, which is plagued with overcrowding from all the growth in the valley,” said Muszkiewicz.
“I really reject this idea we should only focus on a certain part of town. I think we need to be thinking about everybody in the greater Helena Valley when we’re making decisions about our children’s education.”
“First and foremost, I’m pleased about the bond outcome,” said Hindoien, who received about 20 percent of the vote. It’s a huge step forward for the community regardless whether I’m on the board or not.”
“I’ve been really humbled about the amount of support I got when I said I was going to run. I’m likewise humbled at the support I got on the ballot. I’m just honored to be given the opportunity to serve in that position.”
When he was out meeting voters, “The most resonant thing with folks that I saw and felt was the bond proposition.”
Having the bond pass by the margin it did will give the board the opportunity to start thinking about a long-range plan for the facilities.