McEathron takes Warren School Board seat

Donna McEathron pulled ahead of Shawn McClosky in the race for Joanne Cherefko’s South River District seat on the Warren County School Board.

McEathron, whose husband won his uncontested race for Warren County Sheriff, watched the results come in from a screen at the Blue Ridge Arts Council building with friends, family and supporters. The numbers were encouraging; according to the Virginia Department of Election’s reports she ended up with 60.92 percent of the votes compared to McClosky’s 38.85.

“I was feeling pretty good, but it’s not over until all the numbers are in so I didn’t want to get my hopes up too soon, but I was feeling very thankful,” she said. “I had a lot of help from a lot of good people, a lot of friends … I thought we ran a nice, clean campaign and I was very happy with everyone that pitched in and helped me.”

One school topic she said was on her mind from the beginning of her campaign was the state of Ressie Jeffries Elementary School. Both candidates spoke about the school’s deteriorating conditions at the candidate’s forum and October School Board meeting. As the new South River District board member, she said it’ll be her first priority.

“As I stated in the forum, that has been my driving force … just listening and learning and going from there,” she said.

McClosky said that despite knowing he may lose the election from the beginning, he put in 110 percent with the aid of friends and family, going door to door to speak with community members about his goals and qualifications.

“My feeling is that, given the circumstances and the name I was running against, 40 percent is a respectable showing and I wish Mrs. McEathron all the best in her new position,” he said.

McClosky said he will continue to serve on the Special Education Advisory Committee and he hopes McEathron will be successful in improving conditions at Ressie.

Warren County School Board members Douglas Rosen and Arnold Williams Jr. were both uncontested in the elections for the Shenandoah District and North River District member seats respectively. They will hold their seats for another four years into 2019.

Contact staff writer Rachel Mahoney at 540-465-5137 ext. 164, or rmahoney@nvdaily.com