ST. JOSEPH — There will be three new trustees joining the St. Joseph school board in 2019.
Richard Dyer, Kathy Weykamp, Brett Wier and Kerry M. Wright II will fill the four open seats after garnering the majority of votes during Tuesday’s election.
Three of the four available seats carry six-year terms while the fourth seat carries a four-year term. Dyer won the four-year term.
Scott R. Gane and J.T. Inman were the odd men out of the race. The changes are big as Inman, one of two current board members running, was serving as board vice president.
With Board President Amy Porritt-Peirce leaving at the end of the year, the top two positions will be up for grabs.
As the only candidate running for the four-year term, Dyer received 6,937 votes out of the district’s nine precincts.
Dyer, 60, is the president and CEO of Edgewater Bank and Edgewater Bancorp in St. Joseph. He got his bachelor’s degree from Kalamazoo College and his master’s at Grand Valley State University. He and his wife have two grown sons.
For the past three years, the St. Joseph High School alum has served on the Board of Trustees of the St. Joseph Public School Foundation.
“It feels good. I look forward to working with members of this district,” Dyer said. “I’ve got some listening, learning and reading to do. I want to keep the district moving forward and hope to do the best I can for students of this district.”
The other top vote-getters were Weykamp with 4,924 votes, Wier who accumulated 4,039 votes, and Wright with 4,347 votes.
Weykamp, 47, is a principal at Edgewater Resources in St. Joseph. She earned a master’s from the University of Georgia and a bachelor’s degree from Michigan State University.
Weykamp and her husband have twins, who both attend Upton Middle School.
“It is an honor to serve the school district, and by extension, the community,” Weykamp wrote in an email to The Herald-Palladium. “St. Joseph schools have set a high standard for many years. There are standards that can be measured and the school must respond to those requirements. My goal is to help continue to grow that excellence in student performance, while focusing our resources to support the educators and administrators in our district.”
Wier, 40, is vice president of lending at United Federal Credit Union and has a bachelor’s degree from Ferris State University.
He and his wife have two daughters, who both attend school in the district.
“I’m very humbled with the community support and the trust of electing me to the position,” Wier said. “I know it’s a strong board. I am excited to get started and continue to support St. Joe schools.”
Wright, 38, is a broker and owner of Evergreen Real Estate in St. Joseph. The incumbent trustee earned his undergraduate degree from Albion College and his master’s from Aquinas College.
Wright, who was appointed to the board to fill a vacancy in 2016, and his wife have three daughters who attend district schools.
“To be elected by the voters, it’s validating and exciting,” Wright said. “I’m honored voters selected me to continue to serve this district. I look forward to being a part of the great things to come for our students, our teachers and our families.”
Only two incumbents were on Tuesday’s ballot since Porritt-Peirce and Secretary Denise Reeves chose not to seek re-election.
Contact: twittkowski@TheHP.com, 932-0358, Twitter: @TonyWittkowski