Voters went to the polls on Tuesday to pick a new slate of members on the Chesterfield School Board.

No one on the board sought re-election, so all of those elected Tuesday will enter their first term on the panel overseeing a school system with 62,000 students.

The new School Board members will take the helm of a school system that’s tackling a series of challenges, including a long-running maintenance backlog for school buildings and the issue of providing more updated facilities for students through new or renovated buildings.

The new board will also face questions over what to do about bus delays that have persisted into the new school year amid a bus driver shortage.

The current School Board members — Rob Thompson, Javaid Siddiqi, Dianne Smith, Carrie Coyner and John Erbach — either sought other public offices or decided against running for personal reasons.

Here are the results for each School Board seat based on unofficial election results posted on the state Department of Elections website.


Ryan Harter won by a wide margin in his bid for the Matoaca seat on the School Board. Harter beat challenger Denisha Potts, a state employee, 61% to 39%.


Kathryn Haines, a mom and community advocate, won the Midlothian seat on the School Board. Haines beat Patrick Regan, a trial lawyer. Haines had 55% of the vote while Regan had about 45%.

Clover Hill

Dot Heffron won a three-way race for the Clover Hill seat on the board. Heffron, a former schoolteacher, received 45% of the vote to beat Justin Smith, an information technology specialist, and Arika Phillips, the founder of a tutoring and enrichment nonprofit program.


Debbie Graves Bailey, a retired Chesterfield County teacher, narrowly defeated Shedrick McCall, a psychology professor at Virginia State University, for the Dale District seat. Bailey had 51% of the vote while McCall had 49%. 


Ann Coker, an accounting manager, defeated Will Ares, a carpenter who attended Chesterfield’s Career and Technical Institute. Coker had 61% of the vote while Ares had 39%.

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