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TWIN FALLS — Voters gave a thumbs up Tuesday to newcomer Todd Hubbard for a four-year term on the Twin Falls school board.

Hubbard received 79 votes — 62.7 percent of the total. He’ll replace Liyah Babayan, who was appointed to the board in August 2014 to fill a vacancy.

She was a write-in candidate for Tuesday’s election, and received 47 votes or 37.3 percent.

Hubbard, 33, a civil engineer, will fill the zone 3 seat, which covers mostly northwest Twin Falls.

“I’m excited to serve on the school board,” he said Tuesday night. “I think I bring a unique experience to the board.”

Hubbard said it will be good to see the vision of the new superintendent, Brady Dickinson, who starts July 1, and “work with him to better the school district.”

Babayan said Tuesday night the election results leave her feeling optimistic, considering she was a write-in candidate.

“I’m pretty thankful for the support from the voters,” she said.

Babayan said she’ll explore other avenues “when it comes to civic duties” and serving the community. “I will continue to champion causes that affect children in the community.”

She said she wants to encourage parents to get involved in their children’s education.

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Hubbard doesn’t have previous political experience. In a Times-News candidate questionnaire, he wrote the biggest challenge facing the Twin Falls School District is recruiting and retaining quality staff.

“With the state of Idaho facing a teacher shortage, the challenge will affect each school district and make this goal increasingly difficult as competition for the best teachers increases,” he wrote.

“One goal to address this will be to provide an environment in which each teacher can succeed by offering excellent training opportunities and providing skills teachers will want to use in the classroom.”

The district also needs to provide competitive wages for employees, he wrote.

The Twin Falls school board had one other seat up for election this year. But incumbent Bryan Matsuoka ran unopposed for zone 1, so an election wasn’t held.

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