Newcomer Emily Hecker ousted school board chairwoman Lori Donna from her post, earning 952 votes to Donna’s 603.
Hecker, who campaigned on a children-focused platform of transparency and effective communication, will fill a three-year seat.
When town clerk Sheryl Prince read the unofficial results Tuesday night in the town offices, Hecker was greeted with cheers of “You did it! You did it!” from her supporters, including her children Noah and Otis, who had gathered in the library.
“I’m really happy because I feel like we can make all the change that we want to,” Hecker said, her eyes welling with tears of joy.
One of the first things she’s looking to accomplish, she said, is get the Black Lives Matter flag flying outside the high school. She said a group of students outside of the polls Tuesday strongly advocated for the action.
Standing beside Hecker was her son, who excitedly pushed for a later middle school start time, an idea to which she jokingly responded, “We’ll see about that.”
Hecker wants to focus on fostering “bright, positive” change in the community, she said.
On the other end, Donna thanked her supporters and said she hopes her priorities of fiscal responsibility and operations oversight will continue. She added she believes the public has a “skewed” perception of the board’s true intent and focus.
In another contested race, challenger Rick Dooley beat out incumbent Greg Burbo for a one-year seat, 974 votes to 585.
“I’m thrilled and looking forward to digging down and doing some work,” Dooley said. “There’s a lot to do.”
Burbo said he enjoyed his short time on the board, where he “learned a lot and had a lot fun.” He’ll continue to engage in district conversations about school safety, he added.
Both unopposed candidates, newcomer Jeremy Metcalf and incumbent Michael Joseph were elected to join Rae Couillard, the only member whose seat remained steady this Town Meeting Day.
For the town, the selectboard featured a three-way race for two one-year seats. Incumbent Chris Taylor was handily re-elected with 1,143 votes, and he’ll be joined by Brenda Steady, who earned 821 votes. Challenger Don Franklin earned the fewest with 732 votes.
In a Q&A submitted to the Independent last month, Taylor said he ran for re-election to give back to his community. Some of his priorities include discussing stormwater runoff, implementing the Route 7 hourglass intersection and making Milton more appealing for business.
Steady also touched on this, saying while the town’s fund balance has tamped down budget increases in years past, the town should focus on bringing business to Milton.
Incumbent John Palasik faced no competition and will serve a three-year seat.
The library board of trustees had two races for two seats. Incumbent Veronica Valz defeated challenger Henry Bonges, 1,055 to 415. In her Q&A last month, Valz said she plans to continue fostering relationships between public and school libraries and to finish MPL’s five-year plan.
Judy Schmidt won the second race, besting Christine Hauslein, 784 to 577. Both were running for the remaining year of a three-year term.
Jen Dooley was returned to her seat, unopposed, with 1,484 votes.
Finally, town clerk Sheryl Prince and town treasurer John Gifford were re-elected in their unopposed races with 1,552 and 1,521 votes, respectively.