More than 2,000 Andover voters cast ballots by mail in the 2024 local election, leaving polling places looking sleepy on Tuesday morning (Laura Winik photo).

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Andover voters sent a message Tuesday to a school committee poised to cut as many as 34 full-time positions by electing two educators with no prior political experience to the five-member board.

Lauren Diffenbach and Shauna Murray topped Andover High School senior Christopher Shepley, incumbent Susan McCready and Jayashree Mohandas, who had been endorsed by outgoing School Committee Chair Tracey Spruce, in the five-way race for two open seats, according to unofficial results. Diffenbach, who has a master’s degree in education, and Murray, an English teacher at Nashua South High School in New Hampshire, picked up endorsements from the Andover Education Association, the union representing teachers, in large part for opposing the cuts the current board says are necessary to close a budget gap.

In a four-way race for two open seats on the select board, Kevin Coffey and Ellen Townson topped George Thorlin and Ellen Keller. Top vote-getter Coffey, who campaigned on a platform of fiscal prudence, adds a dissenting voice to a select board that has approved five percent property tax increases in each of the past two years. It was his second straight year running for select board, narrowly losing to incumbent Laura Gregory in 2023.

About 19 percent, or 5,067 of Andover’s 26,491 registered voters, cast votes Tuesday, up from 2,138 last year.

Unofficial Results

Winners in bold. Candidates for reelection marked with an asterisk (*).

Select Board

Kevin Coffey2,915
Ellen Keller2,159
George Thorlin1,562
Ellen Townson2,254
Misc. Other/Write-Ins26

School Committee

Lauren Diffenbach1,977
Susan McCready *1,812
Jayashree Mohandas1,512
Shauna Murray2,391
Christopher Shepley1,311
Misc. Other/Write-Ins19

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