Incumbent Brian Ferguson easily won one of two open seats on the Brooke County Board of Education Tuesday, while fellow incumbent Jim Piccirillo found himself in a tight race for the second seat with Bill Schwertfeger of Follansbee.
In the end, Piccirillo edged Schwertfeger by just 60 votes, 2,280 to 2,220. Ferguson led the field with 2,822 votes and Daniel McCauley came in fourth with 1,122.
Piccirillo, who serves as board president, said the board has made some "tough decisions" recently and he wasn't surprised the election came down to the final precinct.
"I expected a tight race. ... But I think we're getting the school district headed in the right direction," said Piccirillo.
He said his goals over the next four years include working toward fulfilling the board's 10-year facilities plan, which would see a new middle school built near Brooke High School and two new elementary schools built, one for the north end of the county and another for the south. He also would like to see better training for teachers and "increasing professionalism" among the overall staff.
Ferguson offered "all the thanks in the world" to those who supported him in the election, and he said there's much he still hopes to accomplish, including building the new middle school and improving communication between the board and teachers and principals.