RC School Board accepts new member

A new face has joined the Rush City School Board.

Local resident, father and county law enforcement officer Justin Wood received the nomination with unanimous support during a special school board meeting May 8 at the high school. He will take the oath of office at the regular May 16 meeting when he’ll begin serving as a board member.

“I’m honored and looking forward to serving the school district and community,” he said after the special meeting adjourned.

Wood, who works for the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office, will fill the board seat vacated by Channa Tastsides who served for 3 1/2 years before turning in her resignation due to a family move to Cambridge where her children have been going to school. In March, board members accepted her resignation and declared the position vacant at the conclusion of the April 18 meeting.

Following that meeting, the board opted to seek applications from those interested in serving the rest of Tastsides’ term through December 2013. Wood said he expects to file for the election this fall to compete for a regular term of four years beginning on Jan. 1, 2014.

“I have a great stake in the district as a parent of two children who currently attend C.E. Jacobson Elementary School,” he said in his letter of application to the district. “I have been involved in school activities and work diligently in keeping an active role in the continuing education of my children. A driving factor in my interest in serving on the Rush City School Board is to offer a fresh look and to think about innovative ideas for improvements that could benefit the long-term needs of the district.”

Superintendent Vern Koepp said Wood’s current term will end around the same time as the orientation process for new board members. Until then, the district will assist Wood with getting to know district finances, negotiations and other tasks that board members often deal with and do.

Others who applied for the vacant board seat were Jennifer Henthorn, Vivian Pasche and Michelle Jacobson.

“Thanks to all the candidates who applied,” Board Member Scott Tryon said.

In other news, the board:

• Approved a request by Linda Lindeman to extend her family medical leave through June 3.

• Approved the employment of elementary teacher Mary Grote and high school science teacher James McFarlane, beginning with the 2013-14 school year.

• Agreed to work with the Chisago County Sheriff’s Office to apply for a federal grant, which would cover 75 percent of the cost for a school resource officer over two years. If the grant is successful, the sheriff’s office would cover 25 percent of the cost for two years.

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