School board welcomes new members

Jacob Lane · Wednesday, September 25, 2013
The West Liberty School Board welcomed two new board members last Monday. Emily Geertz and Jose Zacarias were sworn into their board positions.

Both won the school board election last Tuesday, Geertz received 169 votes while Zacarias received 102 votes out of a total of 411 votes from members of the WL Community School District.

"The next few months are going to be a learning experience and I am very excited" said Zacarias. He's also a member of the West Liberty City Council. "I think it's going to be a little difficult holding both positions, but I have the time and the will."

They replace board members Rhea Allen and Kevin Minor. Allen chose not to run for her position again; however, Minor attempted to reclaim his seat, but he came in short with 89 total votes. Community member Nick VanEvery, the fourth candidate for school board, received 51 votes.

At the board meeting both new members were sworn in by School Business Manager Tom Anderson and instructed on the finer points of being on the board.

"We have two veterans along with two rookies that are very knowledgeable," said Board President Mike Duytschaver. "I think we have a good board and will do well this upcoming year."

Duytschaver was nominated and voted into the position of board president once again. He has served in the position since 2008. Lynne Sasmazer was nominated and voted into the position of Vice President for another year.

After finalizing board positions, they moved onto approving other positions in the school district.

They approved the following: Brian Gruhn and Bill Tharp as the school's attorneys, Vicki Vernon as the "504" Coordinator, Brenda Arthur-Miller as the District Equity Coordinator and the West Liberty Index as the official newspaper.

They also began discussion on selecting an architect for the next step in air conditioning installation. Last summer the board approved AC installation in the first half of the elementary building, now it wants to finish the building and move onto the Early Learning Center this summer.

Superintendent Steve Hanson recommended Shive-Hattery. However, the board has yet to vote on a final decision.

After the meeting, Geertz shared her thoughts on the election.

"I felt relieved when I heard the results," she said. "Now my initial concern is to attend orientations to better my understanding of the position."
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