Chaperone-backed Hank McFarland wins GI School Board seat in Ward B

Hank McFarland
Hank McFarland(KSNB)
Published: Nov. 9, 2022 at 12:47 AM CST
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GRAND ISLAND, Neb. (KSNB) - A wave of new faces is coming to Grand Island Public Schools, and the first of many faces includes Hank McFarland.

The Grand Island banker won the Ward B race Tuesday night over challenger Tim Mayfield. As of nearly 1 a.m. Wednesday, McFarland had more than doubled Mayfield’s vote total, earning him 67% of the vote.

McFarland is the first blow issued by ‘Chaperone,’ a political action committee that formed after the firing of longtime GISH boys soccer coach and former Grand Island mayor Jeremy Jensen. Back in the spring of 2022, Jensen voiced concerns about how the school district operated. He pointed to test scores of students and shared internal survey information on social media - which the district used as its reasoning for his termination.

McFarland earned a spot on the ballot after a petition effort gathered enough signatures from registered voters in Ward B.

In Ward A, it appears that two more Chaperone-backed candidates will earn seats in an historic election, as both are Josh Sikes and Amanda Wilson are write-in candidates. During the writing of this story, the race had not been declared final, however, as the Hall County Election Commissioner’s Office still said it had to count more provisional ballots.

The Ward C seats will also see all new faces, as incumbent Carlos Barcenas received the least amount of votes in a four-vote race.