LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) - The longtime member of the Jefferson County Board of Education who lost her bid for re-election Tuesday says she will continue to advocate for children.

"It's been a great run that has been very rewarding," said Carol Haddad, who spent a total of 28 years representing District 6 in central Jefferson County. "This is not the last time you will hear from me. I will continue to volunteer and help kids wherever I can."

Haddad, 75, lost her seat to Lisa Willner, executive director of the Kentucky Psychological Association.

Willner received 54 percent of the vote to Haddad's 28 percent, while another challenger, Patrick Hughes, received 17 percent.

It is one of two seats on the school board that will be occupied by newcomers in January, as Stephanie Horne was elected to represent District 3 in northeastern Jefferson County.

Horne is replacing retiring board member Debbie Wesslund.

The two other seats up for election this year were retained by Linda Duncan, who defeated challengers Richard Brown and David Hittle in District 5, and Diane Porter, who ran unopposed in District 1.

"This election was different than any other that I have been part of," Haddad said. "I saw a lot of money being spent on candidates that I've never seen. Never before has money been spent like that on a school board race."

Willner received the backing of the Jefferson County Teachers Association and the Bluegrass Fund
, both of which spend hundreds of thousands of dollars in this year's school board election.

Not much experience is left on the school board. With Haddad leaving, Duncan has the longest tenure with 8 years.

The three other members -- David Jones Jr., Chuck Haddaway and Chris Brady -- were each elected for the first time in 2012 and will be up for reelection in 2016.

"I think stability and experience is important on a board," Haddad said.

Haddad said she doesn't have any advice for Willner.

"I don't give advice, everyone has to learn on their own and figure out how things work," she said. "But it is a lot of hard work and effort."

Haddad said she will continue to work at expanding early childhood education in Louisville. She is part of the Metro United Way early childhood program.

"We have to get our kids early," she said. "That is something I'll never give up on."

The seven-member school board oversees an annual budget of more than $1 billion and sets policy for the district's 100,000 students and 18,000 employees.

Reporter Antoinette Konz can be reached at 585-0838 or @tkonz on Twitter.

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