PANAMA CITY, Fla. (WMBB) — Ann Leonard was elected to the Bay District School Board Tuesday night.

Leonard was elected with 16,280 votes (56 percent) to Frances Gordon’s 12,581 (44 percent) votes.

Both are career educators. Leonard said she has several challenges she hopes to address. She said the attendance in the classroom is a concern.

Leonard also hopes to address continued learning loss following Hurricane Michael and plans to focus on teacher retention and recruitment.

For more than a year Bay District Schools has had dozens of openings and has struggled to hire teachers.

“I’ve spent my career in education and I’m not doing it for any other reason than I just care deeply for education and the children of our community,” Leonard said. “So I’m really looking forward to having the opportunity to serve.”

Keys Gord said her message did not reach voters. She said it was a great race and she hopes that despite the result, Bay County students benefit from the election.

“I think the people of Bay County voted and they’re voice was heard,” Keys Gordon said. “That’s the process. You know it’s about making sure that you get the information to the people.”