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East Aurora board member withdraws from April ballot

AnitLewis East AurorSchool District 131 Board Member

Anita Lewis, East Aurora School District 131 Board Member

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Updated: February 19, 2013 2:11PM

AURORA — East Aurora School Board member Anita Lewis has decided not to run for re-election in April, East Aurora officials confirmed Wednesday.

Lewis, who served as board secretary, filed papers Friday to remove her name from the ballot. She served on the board for one term.

“This decision was based on family commitments that I have and is no way a reflection of the state of the district or the current board,” Lewis said in a statement.

Lewis’ departure from the ballot leaves four candidates to vie for the three four-year board spots. They are incumbent board President Annette Johnson, incumbent board member Richard Leonard, and challengers Kirsten Strand and Zachary Montroy.

Four other candidates are running for two two-year terms: incumbent board member Ignacio Cervantes, incumbent board Vice President Stella Gonzalez, and challengers Marcella Duermit and Mary L. Peryea.

Lewis said she is very proud of the accomplishments of the School Board in recent years. In the past four years, the district has returned art to the classroom, restored the gifted program, authorized a full magnet academy and put in a new child service center.

Because of that work, Lewis said she throws her full support toward the re-election of the incumbent board members: Johnson, Leonard, Gonzalez and Cervantes.

“In the past six months, issues are being transparently brought to the public, that have and will continue to require major change in the district,” she said.

The board has received criticism for initiating changes, but those who are not willing to change are negative, she said.

“It would be disastrous for this district to go back to the way it was and would be unfair to the students, parents and taxpayers,” she said.

The last day to withdraw from the ballot is Jan. 31.

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