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Two School Board incumbents to run again

One is out, two are in and one's not saying.

Duluth School Board incumbents Rosie Loeffler-Kemp and Harry Welty told the News Tribune this week they plan to run to reclaim their seats this fall. Board member Art Johnston declined to comment on a potential run and Annie Harala said she was opting out.

Harala, an At Large member who has served as chairwoman and is completing her first four-year term, said her decision was made for personal family reasons, although she struggled with it.

"I ran for the School Board four years ago because I am passionate about youth and our community and wanted to bring a new voice," she said. Harala campaigned for equity and accountability, things she and other board members have focused on. She's proud of work done to expand the full-service community school model and start immersion programs, and is "excited" about the direction of the district.

"The district still has a ways to grow, but is in a stronger place today," she said. "I will continue to be a fierce advocate for education."

Harala said she hopes the number of parents who have become engaged in school issues in recent months means new candidates might step forward.

At Large member Harry Welty has served as a board member in the past, with terms starting in 1996 and in 2000.

"I don't think there is anybody better prepared to deal with the challenges of the Duluth school district than somebody with my long experience, my patience and my impatience," he said.

District 1 representative Loeffler-Kemp said she will campaign for a second term based on feedback she's received from constituents.

"Many people in my district have strongly encouraged me to run," she said.

District 4 representative Johnston is finishing his second term.

No other candidates have emerged.

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