Lynch named new School Board head


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Iowa City School Board member Chris Lynch will replace former board President Sally Hoelscher as interim president of the board. 

He will serve the remainder of Hoelscher’s term, which ends in September 2015.

Hoelscher resigned last week via an email to board members and by way of a Facebook post. She cited personal reasons for the departure.

Board member Brian Kirschling nominated Lynch at a special meeting on Tuesday, and board member Jeff McGinness seconded his nomination. 

However, Lynch, who was unable to make it to the meeting because he was in Canada, did not win unanimous approval. 

Lynch was elected to the board in September 2013, and his term ends in 2017.

Board member Patti Fields nominated board member Tuyet Dorau.

“I’m a little concerned that we’re nominating someone who isn’t present,” Fields said.

The members recorded votes on paper ballots in a silent vote, while Lynch sent his choice in electronically.

Lynch received three votes and Dorau had two. 

“I appreciate the support, and I look to use my term as president to refocus our educational mission,” Lynch said. “I look forward to working together.”

The board now has to fill its remaining empty seat with another temporary board member. The member must be appointed by July 24.

They plan utilizing a previously used application form, with some alterations, to determine the new seventh member.  The alterations will update the form to meet current concerns of the board. 

Specifically, applicants will be asked if they intend to run in the September 2015 election for the School Board.  Board members don’t want to give appointees unfair advantages in future elections.

So, those answering yes will not be likely candidates for selection.

“We didn’t want to provide the appointee either the power or crux of incumbency,” Dorau said.

Former School Board members or others with knowledge of the field but not seeking re-election would be preferred.

“If we have people that are knowledgeable about us and what we have been doing, that might make the difference,” board Vice President Marla Swesey said.

Paper and electronic applications will be accepted until July 14.  The winner will then be announced at a special meeting on July 21, after the board reviews the applicants.

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