NORMAL — Incumbents Meta Mickens-Baker and John Puzauskas and newcomer Todd Ferguson will help lead McLean County’s largest school district after winning four-year terms in Tuesday’s election.

Mickens-Baker was the lead vote-getter in the race for three seats on the Unit 5 school board, capturing 3,886 votes. She will be joined by Ferguson, who took 3,536 votes, and Puzauskas, who earned 2,925 votes.

Four other candidates were defeated, including newcomers Randy Merker, Glenn Block, Steven Zimmerman and Rebecca Ferrera.

Merker, 2,455; Block, 2,705; Zimmerman, 2,821;and Ferrera, 2,343.

Continued growth remains among board members’ biggest challenges, they agreed, with its demand on school buildings and staff.

The district has started talking about building more schools in the next few years; Unit 5’s student population exceeds 13,500 students in Carlock, Hudson, Towanda, Bloomington and Normal.

Board members will likely consider either a property tax increase referendum or a 1 percent sales tax referendum in 2014 as the district continues to be impacted by delayed and reduced state and federal payments and increased technology costs.

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