Schalnus, Palyo hold on to retain seats on South Routt School Board |

Schalnus, Palyo hold on to retain seats on South Routt School Board

— When Kristina Schalnus stepped up to fill a void on the South Routt Board of Education in January 2014, it was purely out of necessity, and she wasn’t sure it would lead to anything long term.

So, when she found out she had outlasted Rod Olinger to retain her District 5 seat Tuesday, it came as a bit of a surprise.

“I went into this blind. There was a need, and no one would step up to the plate. For some reason, I was that person,” Schalnus said of initially joining the board more than a year and a half ago. “Until you really know the ins and outs, it’s hard to feel comfortable about decisions you are making. You just have to do a lot of your own leg work, and I feel like I’ve finally hit that peak where I’m there.”

Schalnus received 297 votes to 256 for Olinger, while Kelsi Edwards was third with 176 votes.

Schalnus owns and operates a family cattle ranch in South Routt while also working for the U.S. Post Office in Toponas. She has three children — a preschooler and two attending Soroco High School — and said she feels she has learned a lot from her time on the board, adding she looks forward to continuing in the role.

“I’m kind of speechless, because I really wasn’t sure. I just left it out of my hands and thought it will be what it will be,” Schalnus said. “I still have a long way to go, but I’m definitely feeling comfortable and so encouraged that I have four more years.”

In the only other contested South Routt School Board race, incumbent Jules Palyo edged out David Long in District 4, 377 votes to 343. Palyo served on the board the previous four years and was board president the past three.

“I’m excited about the results. I’m very happy that I can continue on the board and meet the challenges that are facing our district,” Palyo said. “David Long is well-known in the community. His mom was on the school board for quite a few years. I think everybody has a pretty favorable view of the family. I really did expect it to be close.”

The three remaining South Routt school board positions were all uncontested. Incumbents Jane Colby (District 2) and Brett Mason (District 7) will return, while Sean Veilleux will take the District 6 seat, replacing incumbent Tim Corrigan, who did not run for re-election.

Delaney, Lind win in Hayden

Four Hayden residents ran for two open seats on the Hayden School Board, with Tammie Delaney and Kevin Lind defeating Lacey Ramos and Greg Hermann in Tuesday’s election.

Delaney received the highest percentage of votes at 30.33 percent, while Lind was second with 27.96 percent (333 to 307). Ramos was third at 21.31 percent and Hermann fourth with 20.4 percent.

“I appreciate the fact the community came out and voted. I think that all four of the candidates were people that were really committed to the position,” said Lind, owner of Axial Arts Architecture. “I think any four of us would have appreciated being voted in. I’m looking forward to learning more about what school boards really need to do for the community.”

Lind, a 10-year Hayden resident who has served on the grant committee for the Steamboat Springs Education Fund Board for the past three years, knows Delaney well, and he said he looks forward to working alongside her on the school board, a feeling that is mutual with Delaney.

“Kevin is outstanding as both a thinker and a calm, cool mind. He has such a visionary sense,” Delaney said. “I think all four of us felt all four of us could do a great job. I’m thrilled and honored … it’s a board I would love to be a part of it, and I’m looking forward to it.”

To reach Austin Colbert, call 970-871-4204, email or follow him on Twitter @Austin_Colbert

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