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Full coverage of the 2009 District 833 School Board election

Voters will head to the polls on Nov. 3 with four District 833 School Board seats on the ballot and 10 people running, including two incumbents.

The board election is the only item on the ballot, except for an uncontested city council election in St. Paul Park.

Because of a change made by the Legislature, the word "incumbent" will not be on ballots, according to the Minnesota Secretary of State's Office.

Candidates include Marsha Adou, Alberder Gillespie, David Kemper, Mike Thissen, Laurie Johnson and Edward Nowak from Woodbury; Gina Taft, Walt Lyszak and Tracy Brunnette from Cottage Grove; and Katy McElwee-Stevens from Newport.

Incumbent Ellen Ayers is not running, and incumbent Denise Kapler is now staging a write-in campaign to keep her seat.

Gillespie and McElwee-Stevens served appointed terms on the board, ran for election two years ago, and were defeated.

Many issues such as new attendance boundaries, new start times and changing grade configurations are no longer on the table, but some related issues linger and new challenges are ahead such as what the district plans to do if school funding from the Legislature stays flat or is cut due to a sagging economy and state budget cuts.

Election Details

Where to vote

To save money, District 833 is combining polling places in Cottage Grove and Woodbury. You can find out where to vote using your home address by going to the Secretary of State Web site, or using this list:

- Precinct 5: Newport P1 and P2, Newport Elementary, 851 6th Avenue, Newport

- Precinct 7: Cottage Grove P2, P3 and Grey Cloud Island, Pine Hill Elementary, 9015 Hadley Ave., Cottage Grove

- Precinct 8: Cottage Grove P4, P5, P6, P9 and P10, Cottage Grove Elementary, 7447 65th Street S, Cottage Grove

- Precinct 9: Cottage Grove P1, P7, P8, P11 and P12 and Denmark Township,

District 833 Service Center, 7362 E Point Douglas Rd, Cottage Grove

- St. Paul Park Precinct 1: St. Paul Park Fire Hall, 600 Portland Avenue, St. Paul Park

- St. Paul Park Precinct 2: St. Paul Park City Office, 600 Portland Avenue, St. Paul Park

- St. Paul Park Precinct 3: Heritage Park Building, 1345 Laurel Avenue, St. Paul Park

Absentee voting


District 833 voters may vote by absentee ballot for the Nov. 3 School Board General Election if they will be unable to go to the polling place on Election Day for one of the following reasons: absence from precinct, illness or disability, religious discipline or observance of religious holiday, service as election judge in another precinct.

You can apply and vote absentee at: Washington County Service Station, County Road 19 and 90th Street Park in Cottage Grove, Washington County Service Station, 2150 Radio Drive, next to the police department in Woodbury.

Call Washington County Elections at (651) 430-6175 for more information or if you have questions.

More information

Video of the League of Women Voters candidate forum: go to, click on "Watch City Meetings," and then "Miscellaneous Archived Videos."

Candidate's video profiles: go to, click on "Local Vote 2009"

League of Women Voters 2009 voter guide: go to