School Board

Brandi Nelson, Cathy Roes, Karen Schipfmann-Nielson, John McCue

The Cody School Board will soon feature four new faces.

In Tuesday night’s election the lone incumbent running for re-election fell short as challengers won all three four-year seats and the two-year seat.

Parent and school volunteer Brandi Nelson was the lead candidate in the eight-person race for the four-year seats, receiving 11.4 percent of the vote (2,382 votes) in the unofficial final tally.

Local businesswoman and volunteer Cathy Roes received the second-most votes at 10.7 percent (2,239).

They are joined by Karen Schipfmann-Nielson, a parent of district students and former investment professional who garnered 8.9 percent of the votes (1,865).

Longtime local businessman John McCue won the two-year seat with 35.2 percent of the vote in the three-person race, tallying 2,448 votes.

“I think it just solidifies what I’ve been preaching about, that I’m going down the right path,” he said. “Now the work begins.”

The four-year winners were similarly ready to turn the page from election season to board governance.

“I’m ready to serve,” Nelson said. “I’m excited to get in there and do what’s best for kids and offer what I have.”

Cathy Roes said she turned her phone off last night to get some sleep after texts of congratulations started to pour in. She woke up to a full phone.

“I feel great,” she said. “Honestly I’m thankful the community has supported me as much as they have, and I want to make people proud.”

Schipfmann-Nielson said she was in suspense until the final tally.

“It feels wonderful,” she said. “I have to be honest, I’m glad (the campaign) is over, now the real work begins.”

Former Eastside School teacher Nicole Tisthammer was second in the two-year race with 28.9 percent (2,010).

In the race for the four-year seats, former district homebound teacher Sheryl Morris finished close behind with 8 percent of the vote (1,668). She was followed by grandparent and former business executive Timothy Lasseter (1,585) and Northwest College professor Brennan Baglio (1,421).

Incumbent Billy Struemke finished with 1,415 votes.

Struemke worried the results displayed a board becoming more liberal.

“The Cody people have spoken, and if that’s what they want, that’s what they should have,” he said. “But I’m fearful they don’t know what they voted for.”

Northwest College trustee (Cody)

John Housel will get a fourth term as a Cody representative for the Northwest College Board.

Housel defeated challenger Scott Court, former House District 24 representative, with 48.5 percent of the vote. Housel received 3,426 votes to Court’s 2,061.

“I appreciate the voters who expressed their confidence in me,” Housel said. “I will certainly work and advocate for Cody’s interests in the college.”

He said his goal is to expand the college’s reach in Cody and get more Cody students to start their college careers in Powell.

(6) comments


how long we going to leave this article up, need something new to read

P Demoney

Self awareness seems to not be a strength.


These are nonpartisan positions for a reason. They do serious work to make sure schools function for the kids. Being a school board member is not a public platform to draw attention to yourself or your party. There were a bunch a great candidates this time around; some who won and some who lost. However, for those that lost and then felt the need to smear those that won, it just goes to show that this was a win for adults as well.


I agree with Stuemke, many times people vote on name recognition with out real knowledge of a candidates character or belief system. Especially in an election like this with no real voting history or advocacy history to build a perception from. In small communities like ours especially, its many times about how you know someone and not what you know about them. So like he said people may not know what they voted for, but I guess we will see.

P Demoney

Struemke, “The Cody people have spoken, and if that’s what they want, that’s what they should have,” he said. “But I’m fearful they don’t know what they voted for.” What? So the people of Cody aren't smart? I think the people of Cody knew what they didn't want.

(Edited by staff.)


Clearly your opinion. However, while you may characterize the Cody people as "not smart"; I would say they were misled.

The fact is if the all but McCue were on the board when the CKA policy came up, they would have voted against it. The majority of the people (over 70%) in our community supported it.

Had these same women been on the board when members of the community were against the reading resources, they would have voted for them; choosing to "trust the teachers". People who are now on the board have referred to the outspoken as racists in a rebuttal letter. It is part of the record. These same women have supported common core, something that most conservatives see as a failed Obama era idea.

The book that was controversial last spring, that was so obscene that even Trustee Bell did not want it read at a public meeting, would be on the shelf today.

Like I said you can have your opinion. You may not even like me personally (although I don't know who you are) but I think the public has been misled. It wasn't just me who lost, every conservative candidate was put down.

I heard one person say it in celebration after these candidates were elected. "Congratulations to three strong progressive women". Perhaps you see Cody as a progressive town (as opposed to a conservative one) but that is somewhere we disagree.

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