Election results from the Springfield Public School board race in 2022

In a close race Tuesday, candidates Kelly Byrne and Steve Makoski won seats on the Springfield school board.

Byrne, a real estate investor and developer, garnered the most votes — and raised the most money — followed closely by Makoski, director of compliance at Rapid Roberts.

Makoski did not respond to requests for comment, but Byrne said the election outcome was proof the community wanted a change from the status quo.

“My campaign kept focusing on the … clear decline academically in our district and there seems to be a clear shift in focus away from academic achievement,” Byrne said. “It doesn’t matter where you are politically, I think most people want a strong public education system. And I think that is what resonated.”

Their success unseated incumbent Charles Taylor.

“I congratulate Kelly and Steve and wish them well because the kids are counting on them,” Taylor said in a statement.

Springfield school board candidates Kelly Byrne (left) and Steve Makoski (right).

Byrne and Makoski won despite not receiving endorsements from the groups that typically weigh heavily in school board races: The teacher unions and the Springfield Area Chamber of Commerce.

“We’ve had years of the board going one way and it’s gone the way that the NEA and the chamber said and people haven’t gone to vote,” Byrne said. “And for whatever reason this year the people said that is not the direction we want anymore and they picked two people who didn’t have all those endorsements majors.”

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