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Harberts elected to District 518 Board of Education

WORTHINGTON — Mike T. Harberts will join the District 518 Board of Education.

Harberts defeated Marvin Zylstra in Tuesday’s contested race after receiving 988 votes (62.49 percent) to Zylstra’s 592 (37.44 percent).

Harberts will take the seat Jan. 1, 2018.

In a previously submitted statement to The Globe, Harberts said as a school board member he hopes to be the voice of reason and balance to tip the board in more productive directions. His statement cites his seeing, with some exceptions, what he called “groupthink” by the board.

“I hope to serve as an encouragement to my fellow board members to see them offer their unique perspectives,” the statement read. “Such new ideas, managed well, might lead the board in much more productive directions.”

Harberts added that he intends on voting no on the Feb. 13 bond referendum for a new $67.8 million high school.

“I want to be part of an effort to truly address our space and scheduling needs for Worthington ISD, all the while recognizing that the large majority of district stakeholders simply can’t afford the current proposals,” his statement read. “I want to help steer the district in a positive, new and affordable direction to meet these needs, one that will help bring our community back together.”

Harberts’ one-year, non-expiring seat became available after former school board member Ann Mills moved before her four-year term expired. With two years remaining, Victoria Blanchette was appointed as an interim member, which expires at the end of December.

Harberts will be able to run for another term during next year’s election, which he previously stated is his intent.

Harberts could not be reached for comment Tuesday evening.

Alyssa Sobotka

Alyssa joined The Globe in July 2017 and covers education and crime beats. The Nebraska native earned her bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Nebraska at Kearney. In her own sarcastic tone, her blog, Aimlessly Navigating, recounts the reality, pitfalls and triumphs of a young 20-something navigating to maturity. Follow her on Twitter: @alyssasobotka