Education, Elections, Latest News, Preston County

Huggins takes only contested seat on Preston BOE

KINGWOOD — With all 28 precincts reporting, unofficial results Tuesday showed Bruce Huggins winning the only contested seat on the Preston County Board of Education.

There were four candidates in the board race.  Jeanne Dreisbach ran in District 1.  Huggins and Peter Liga ran in District 2. Pam Feathers ran in District 3.

One candidate could be elected in Districts 1 and 2 each, and two could be elected in District 3.  Feathers, an incumbent, ran unopposed for one of the two available seats in District 3, and Dreisbach, in her first run at office, ran unopposed for the only District 1 seat. Huggins and Liga competed for the only available District 2 seat.

Huggins has been filling the seat of Robert “Mac” McCrum, who resigned in order to run for the State House of Delegates. He held the seat until the election.

“My whole career’s been in education, and it’s a different way to continue that career and a different way to help kids,” Huggins said as the votes came in.

His short time on the board has also given him a different perspective on the school system, Huggins said.

As for the future, the two biggest issues he sees facing the board is to continue being transparent in how levy money is spent and to prepare for students’ return to school in the fall.

The board sends information home with students about how the levy money is spent and lists the expenditures on its website. But Huggins suggests they also need to advertise the expenditures in the local newspaper to reach as many people as possible.

As for the uncertainty of how students will return in August, “The value of in-person education and online, there’s no comparison,” he said. But whether it is possible to teach in the classroom is still up in the air as the state deals with COVID-19.

Dreisbach will take the seat vacated by Board Member Bob Ridenour, who chose not to seek reelection.

All results are unofficial until the canvass of votes.

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