School elections, levies approaching

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(EDITORíS NOTE: This is the second and concluding part of a preview on local school elections.)


Daily Inter Lake

Election day for area schools is approaching and districts are either mailing out ballots or opening the polls for voters to decide contested races and proposed levies.

Helena Flats, Smith Valley and West Valley are holding mail-in elections. Ballots will be mailed out to voters by an April 23 deadline. Ballots must be returned to respective school districts by May 8.

Marion will hold a walk-in election with polls open on election day.

Following is biographical information on candidates running for school board trustee positions in addition to recapping levy and election information.

West Valley School District is requesting a $149,691 general fund levy in its mail-ballot election. If approved, annual taxes may increase by $42.71 on homes valued at $200,000. Contact district clerk Cindy Foley at 406-755-7239 or email for more information.

Helena Flats School District has three candidates vying for two trustee openings in its mail-in election. Contact district clerk Tonnie Decker at 406-257-2301 or for more information.

• Jessica Dyer

Age: 34

Occupation: Stay-at-home mom who took a break from teaching to be with her kids.

Family: Husband, Matt; four children ages 2, 4, 6, and 8.

Education: Bachelorís degree in elementary education and an associate degree in early childhood education.

Background: After college graduation, worked on a Hutterite colony in Cut Bank for one year; worked as a paraprofessional in two schools before teaching full time at Northwest Montana Head Start; volunteer at Helena Flats School.

• Kevin Fritz (i)

Age: 46

Occupation: IT director.

Family: Wife and three daughters.

Education: Bachelor of Science in education.

Background: Served as chairman of Helena Flats School District board for past nine years; 4-H Ag Committee chairman, two years; member of the Chamber of Commerce Livestock Committee.

• Jaclynne Magers

Age: 32

Occupation: Rocky Mountain ďHiĒ Campground manager.

Family: Husband, Nathan; three daughters ages 7, 5, and 2.

Education: Flathead High School.

Background: Parents moved to the valley in 1995; she and her four sisters attended Helena Flats School; followed husband who was in the Navy and returned to the valley to raise their children; member of the Kalispell Ski Club.

Marion School District has three candidates running with two seats open on the board. Polls will be open from noon to 8 p.m. at the Marion Fire Department, 180 Gopher Lane. Call district clerk Rae Mitchell at 406-854-2333 or email for more information.

Lily Brower (i)

Age: 64

Occupation: Retired after 46 years working in retail grocery in the meat department, and the last 25 years as a sales associate for a specialty foods company servicing stores here in Flathead Valley.

Family: Married with two children, seven grandchildren and one great-grandchild.

Education: High school diploma; some junior college experience.

Background: Member of the Marion community for 28 years; president of the Marion Fire Auxiliary and member for 15 years; Marion School District board chairwoman, five years; school board trustee, 10 years, serving on hiring and teacher negation committees; volunteer work to help raise money for local fire department and Marion School.

• Melissa Coscarelli (i)

Age: 45

Occupation: Labor and delivery nurse at Kalispell Regional Medical Center, in nursing for 25 years.

Family: Husband, Don; three children, Caitlyn, Lindsey and Addison.

Education: Registered nursing program at St. Margaret School of Nursing in Pittsburgh Pennsylvania.

Background: Member of Marion School PTO for three years, serving as vice president for two; has served on several hospital committees.

• Laurianne Stewart

Occupation: Zone Applications Consultant for Siemens Healthineers.

Family: Husband, Paul, five adult children and two children ages 7 and 9.

Education: Degree in clinical laboratory science from Weber State University.

Background: Volunteer and co-leader of the local Girl Scout Troop for the past three years; previously served on the St. Francis Xavier Parish School board in Salt Lake City, Utah, five years; founding member and past president, vice president, and community education secretary of an animal rescue organization in Salt Lake City, 2002 to 2009.

Smith Valley School District has three candidates vying for two available seats on the board. Contact district clerk Serina Nelson at 406-756-4535 extension 5 or for more information.

• Rand Norby

Age: 64

Occupation: Retired salesman and also worked in the construction/building industry since 18.

Family: Two adult children and grandchildren.


Background: Flathead Valley native, living most of his live in Kalispell; served as a Smith Valley School District board member from 1996 to 2000; has been a Rotary basketball coach and an assistant Bambino baseball coach.

• Richard Sutton (i)

Age: 74

Occupation: Retired after working 30 years in the construction industry and 10 years with the City of Kalispell Street Department. Now raises mini horses and sheep.

Family: Four children; 12 grandchildren, six great-grandchildren.

Education: High school graduate.

Background: More than 30 years on the Smith Valley School District board and current chairman; vice president of the Flathead County 4-H Foundation, more than 40 years as a 4-H leader.

Heather Truscott

Age: 43

Occupation: Bear Creek Designs owner.

Family: Husband, Derek; four children.

Education: Flathead High School; Associate of Applied Science Degree from ITT in Spokane, Washington; ADDA certified drafter.

Background: Attended Batavia School (now Smith Valley School); served as president of Smith Valley School PTC for almost four years; Smith Valley School volunteer.

Reporter Hilary Matheson may be reached at 758-4431 or

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