A write-in candidate has toppled a longtime Deerfield School Board member in the April 2 election.
“Excited,” “thrilled,” “shocked,” “glad” and “happy” were all words retired Deerfield teacher Melissa Frame used to describe winning a seat on the board.
Two seats were available.
Frame came in second to incumbent Lisa Sigurslid. Sigurslid received 601 votes (40.1 percent). Frame received 483 votes (32.3 percent). And incumbent Tom Bush was knocked off the board with a third-place finish. Bush captured 413 votes (27.6 percent).
Bush has lived in Deerfield for 14 years and worked from 2009-2018 as director of the Deerfield Community Center. He has served two different times on the School Board, from 2004-2013 and since 2016.
Sigurslid has lived in Deerfield since 2002 and has been on the school board since 2013. She is a department administrator for the UW-Madison School of Education’s Department of Curriculum and Instruction.
“I would like to thank everyone that took the time to vote today. I am thrilled to be re-elected to the board and look forward to serving the schools and community for the next three years,” Sigurslid said.
“I would also like to welcome Melissa Frame to the board and thank Tom Bush for his service to the schools, it was a pleasure to serve with him on the board,” Sigurslid continued.
At an election night party at Deerfield Coffeehouse in downtown Deerfield, amid glasses of champagne, a flurry of text messages from well-wishers and hugs from loved ones, Frame’s evening was one of celebration.
She marked the coup with about twenty of her family and friends at the coffeehouse. She said having the support of loved ones on election night was important to her, especially if the outcome had been negative.
When the race was called by local news outlets, the party immediately offered a toast.
“Being a write-in is not easy,” Frame said. “This was the first time I’ve ever done this. It was a really fun process.”
Frame has said she feels a strong connection to the Deerfield schools. She has lived in the district for 34 years, and her children graduated from Deerfield High School. Frame taught in the Deerfield School District for about 17 years before retiring last year.
Frame said she hopes to use that local connection, and her experience as an educator, to help her going forward.
By understanding what it’s like to be a teacher, Frame said, she hopes she can better serve faculty and build positive community relationships, especially by asking the question of teachers “what do you need?”
“I really want to see more of a partnership between the kids, the teachers, the parents, the board,” Frame said.
Deerfield Village Board
Also in Deerfield, a last-minute write-in candidate for the Deerfield Village Board won a seat, although he didn’t create a contested race, simply joining two incumbents seeking three seats.
Incumbent Scott Tebon came out ahead with all precincts reporting, with 397 votes (50.1 percent), followed by incumbent Jeremy McMullen with 349 votes (44 percent) and 22 votes for Don Kositzke, a registered write-in in the race. In all, 47 write-in votes were cast but the 22 votes for Kositzke will be the only ones counted, Village Administrator Elizabeth McCredie said. Per state law, only votes for registered write-ins are counted, McCredie said. Three seats were open. Kositzke had registered as a write-in just last Friday, March 29. Incumbent Village Board member Fred Fry didn’t seek re-election.