Rebecca Franks and Cole Thornton

(Essex) -- The Essex School Board will see a mix of new and familiar faces following Tuesday night's elections.

According to preliminary results, incumbent Rebecca Franks was the significant vote-getter for the board, receiving 195 votes or 42.3%, while challenger Cole Thornton finished second with 136 votes or 29.5%. Meanwhile, incumbent Lori Racine finished third with 85 votes or 18.4%, and Donald Olson finished fourth with 44 votes or 9.5%. Franks says she is thankful to serve a second term and continue work with the city and other community groups.

"I'm pleased that we have the support of the Essex community behind us and I'm happy with all the support the community has done to support us and keep our school going the way it has," Franks said.

Living and serving her community on the Essex Volunteer Fire Department for 25 years, Franks says she hopes to continue to bring fresh ideas for students to help the school and city grow.

"Just some of the new programming we've been doing and working a lot together with our city council and our community club to keep our school and the town moving forward, and hoping to bring more kids, and more families to our town," Franks said.

Part of that programming includes the Career Academy created in the district, including the trades programs. While still somewhat new to the board, Franks says she hopes to continue pushing forward.

"I've been doing this for just over two years, and I want to keep moving forward and pushing our curriculum and construction trades program," Franks said.

Franks says a welding program is on the district's horizon once the school finds a proper location. On the campaign trail, Franks says she was also an advocate for getting the district's athletic programs, specifically the boy's athletic programs.

Franks begins her second term, joining Thornton, who replaces Racine and other current board members Meredith Baker, Doug Ohnmacht, and board president Brian Johnson. Full results from Tuesday's city and school elections can be found at

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