A new face may be joining the Bayfield School District Board of Education for a four-year term.
Justin Talbot led in the polls Tuesday night with 30% of the votes in La Plata County. Incumbent school board vice president Debbie Wilhelm followed with around 25.6% of the vote in La Plata County.
A small portion Bayfield School District occupies Archuleta County.
Talbot also held a massive lead as of 10 p.m. Tuesday night in Archuleta County with roughly 38.5% of the votes.
Talbot was optimistic Tuesday and felt grateful for the community support from those in the school district.
“I don't have anything that I have red-flagged that I'm looking to accomplish. It’s just to continue to support the community and make Bayfield schools a great place for teachers, students and the community to all come together and be successful,” Talbot said about his lead before the race was called Tuesday night.
Talbot is a graduate of Bayfield High School and has two daughters who have graduated from BHS and has a third daughter still attending BHS. Talbot has also previously served on the town of Bayfield’s board of trustees.
As of 9 p.m. Tuesday, GOAL High School Administrative Assistant Molly Orendorff held a slight lead over incumbent Bayfield School Board treasurer Amy Davlin. Orendorff held around 22.6% of votes while Davlin had roughly 21.8% in La Plata County.
As of 10 p.m. Tuesday night, Orendorff and Davlin were deadlocked at 23.08% of the vote in Archuleta County. However, that accounts for only six votes per candidate.
Both Davlin and Orendorff were not immediately available to comment Tuesday night.
Orendorff has a bachelor’s degree in Human Development and Family Studies. She’s also worked in Bayfield School District as a paraprofessional and a substitute teacher. She now holds the position of administrative assistant at GOAL High School in Durango.
Davlin told The Durango Herald in October that she wanted to continue to improve on the district’s climate and culture if reelected. She said the district has improved exponentially in that regard over the last few years.
Climate and culture concerns were displayed when the district had to close schools abruptly on a Friday in 2021 because of staffing issues. Much like other districts in Southwest Colorado, Bayfield School District had struggled to fill substitute teaching positions.