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Voters put Smith on School Board and return Zurschmeide to her seat

Manny Trujillo doesn't keep seat he was appointed to

In the race for two open seats on the Tigard-Tualatin School Board in the May May 2011 election, School Board Chairwoman Jill Zurschmeide of Tualatin kept her seat, beating opponents Terri Burnette and Gordon Fiddes with 41.72 percent of all votes cast.

Fiddes came in second with 30 percent of the vote; Burnette received about 27 percent of the vote and had been endorsed by Tigard Mayor Craig Dirksen and the teachers' union, the Tigard-Tualatin Education Association.

Zurschmeide said that the results of the election showed the amount of support that voters have for schools.

'I am extraordinarily grateful and humbled by it,' she said. 'It never ceases to amaze me how much people support this district. I know we have a great district, but it's always nice to know that they do trust us.'

Zurschmeide also was happy to see that the district's $20 million bond was approved by voters.

'In these economic times, to pass a bond is amazing,' she said. 'We all worked hard to make the case that this was money that needed to be spent, because our schools are falling apart, and the people trust us and they believed us, and that's a wonderful thing.'

In Position 2, Manny Trujillo, - who was appointed by the board more than a year ago to fill the seat of school board member Art Rutkin - was not elected for his first full term.

Trujillo, the first Latino-American to serve on the Tigard-Tualatin School Board, received only about 20 percent of the vote in the two-person race.

Instead, the majority of the votes went to Robert Smith, a 55-year-old regional security manager for Kaiser Permanente, who received about 7,300 votes (about 80 percent).

Trujillo received 1,827 votes.

Smith has advocated for more individual power at the school level rather than the district level, and said that the district needs to protect 'the integrity of the classroom' by keeping cuts as far from the student level as possible.