UPDATE: Yeng Leng Xiong Could Make History in School Board Election


teenelectionWESTON — Voters in the D.C. Everest Area School District have elected their first Hmong School Board member.

Yee Leng Xiong, a 19-year-old sophomore at the University of Wisconsin Marathon County, and incumbent Jason Jablonski, an electrician who has served on the board since 2008, emerged as winners as the two top vote-getters in a four-person race.

Incumbent Mary Hancock was ousted after serving on the School Board for 27 years.

The fourth candidate, Phil Salomone of Schofield, withdrew from the race in early March, too late to have his name removed from the ballot. But he asked his supporters to vote for Xiong and finished in last place.


WESTON (WAOW) – Yee Leng Xiong may look like a typical college student, but the 19-year-old is more than that. He’s one of three candidates running for two open spots on the D.C. Everest school board.

“In order to give back to my community, why not start with giving back to my school district,” said Xiong.

Also running are current members Mary Hancock and Jason Jablonski. There were originally four candidates. But after meeting Xiong, Phil Salamone decided to drop out.

“As I was talking to him, I said I wanted to do everything I can to make sure that he wins, and I would be siphoning some votes away from him if I stayed in the race,” said Salamone.

The D.C. Everest school board president says a candidate dropping out of the race is very unusual. Xiong knows his age could help or hurt him.

“They will say I’m inexperienced,” said Xiong. “Like some people have already said I’m not a taxpayer and I don’t have any kids. I realized that I am somebody and that’s what motivated me to run for the school board at such an early age.”

Xiong’s candidacy is also unique because of his race. According to the superintendent’s office, he would be the first Hmong board member to serve.

No matter who wins, Xiong says he hopes the winners will do what’s best for the students in the district.

The election takes place April 1.

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