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Aberdeen's Appl wins seat on SDRS board of trustees

James Appl has won election to a seat representing schoolteachers on the South Dakota Retirement System board of trustees.

The announcement came Wednesday morning during the trustees meeting in Sioux Falls.

Appl has taught middle school and high school in the Aberdeen system for 25 years.

He received 476 votes in the spring elections and replaces Steve Caron, who also teaches in the Aberdeen system. Caron has been a trustee since 2009.

Mary Day, a career and technical teacher in the Belle Fourche school district, placed second but out of the running with 312 votes.

Paul Kuhlman, a science teacher at Avon High School, received 272 votes. Brian Watland, vice president for finance and operations at Western Dakota Technical Institute in Rapid City, received 94.

Three incumbents won new terms.

James Hansen, of Pierre, placed first again for the retiree seat on the board. He has been a trustee since July 1993. Hansen received 1,754 votes in a seven-candidate contest.

Chuck Holmstrom, of Sioux Falls, finished in second place with 1,288 votes. He served on the board as a teacher representative from 2006 to 2010.

Deene Dayton, of Pierre, placed third with 1,253 votes. He retired from the state Department of Legislative Audit.

Lowell Slyter, of Aurora, received 1,252 votes for the retiree seat. He was a trustee from 1985 through 2004 while a professor at South Dakota State University in Brookings.

Rounding out the retiree-candidate field, Michael Roesler, of Rapid City, received 743 votes, followed by former Meade School District Superintendent James Heinter with 712 and Darwin Longieliere, an eight-year board member while working at South Dakota State University, with 658.

Winning re-election to a state-employee seat on the board was Laurie Gustafson, who works for the state Department of Transportation in Pierre. Gustafson received 487 votes.

Placing second was Rachel Hearn, a Department of Revenue employee from Pierre, with 284 votes.

Next were Larry Rohrer, an employee of South Dakota Public Broadcasting in Vermillion, with 177 votes and William Ernst from the state Bureau of Human Resources with 131.

Winning re-election to the county employees seat was Kathy "KJ" Peterson, deputy auditor for Pennington County, with 344 votes. Clifford Rhodes, the Brown County welfare director, received 124.

No one filed as a candidate for the elected municipal official seat. Pierre Mayor Laurie Gill was the trustee since 2013 but didn't seek re-election to city government this spring.

The trustees will select an elected municipal official to fill the opening.

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