Incumbent Yakima school board member Martha Rice retained her Position 5 seat in the general election Tuesday, with over two-thirds of the vote.

Martha Rice was ahead of Earl Lee with 72% of the votes, or 3,000 to 1,115, according to initial ballot counts.

“I’m more than a little blown away,” Rice said. “I am humbled by the confidence that the community has put in me, in the board and in the district with the direction that we’re heading.”

Rice has served on the board for 22 years, while Lee is a former teacher with the district.

Lee said that he wished the school district the best.

“I only wish them the best. All my kids went there and all my family members went to the Yakima School District,” he said. “I wanted to help, but if people feel that they can do a job with that (board) then I wish them the best.”

Separately, Yakima school board president Raymond Navarro ran uncontested for Position 4 on the board, while Norm Walker, a former East Valley school board member who moved within district lines two years ago, ran uncontested for Position 3. Each garnered about 98% of the vote in their race, with the remainder being write-ins.

The race determined who will serve on the school board as Yakima School District forms a new strategic plan and a relationship between the board and new Superintendent Trevor Greene.

Rice said she’s looking forward to continuing to work on the strategic plan and is excited to be welcoming Walker to the collaborative process.

“We’ve got a lot going on in the district and there’s just a whole lot of energy in the district right now that the superintendent is tapping into,” she added. “I’m just excited for the direction that we’re headed. We’re all pulling in the same direction, and that’s to make good things happen for students and staff.”

Reach Janelle Retka at or on Twitter: @janelleretka