Write-In Candidate Santos Joins Five Balloted Candidates As School Committee Winners

Santos launched her campaign just 14 days before the election, but garnered enough support to earn the sixth Committee seat.

The official City Clerk totals are in after a day of counting and verifying write-in totals to determine the sixth and final member of the new Methuen School Committee.

Schools activist and mother of three Louann Santos has won the sixth seat, beating fellow write-in candidate and former Mayoral challenger Dan Shibilia by 12 votes, 385-373.

Santos officially launched her campaign just two weeks ahead of Election Day after having considered running earlier in the year. She quickly garnered support from community leaders, who remembered her vigilant advocacy for more school funding during the 2018 school budgeting crisis that initially saw some teachers get pink slips.

Santos initially conceded defeat Wednesday morning after erroneous voting totals were released during MCTV’s live election broadcast that declared Shibilia the write-in winner.

Shibilia, on vacation in Maine with his family, said he congratulated Santos Wednesday afternoon after receiving official word from Methuen City Clerk Jack Wilson.

Santos joins the five candidates on the ballot — incumbents Sue Nicholson and Jana Zanni Pesce, and newcomers Ryan DiZoglio, Jessica Macleod and Karen Hallbauer — as the members of the newly elected School Committee.

Here are the official vote totals from the City Clerk’s office:

Sue Nicholson, 4,620 votes

Ryan DiZoglio, 4,427 votes

Karen Hallbauer, 3,864 votes

Jana Zanni Pesce, 3,779 votes

Jessica Macleod, 3,725 votes


Louann Santos (winner), 385 votes

Dan Shibilia, 373 votes

Kerrie Abate, 63 votes