PONDERAY — It was right down to business for the Lake Pend Oreille School District's new board of trustees Tuesday.
The first order of business was the swearing-in of Cary Kelly, Lonnie Williams and Gary Suppiger for the board positions in Zone 5, Zone 3 and Zone 2 respectively. The next thing on the list — appoint a chair and vice-chair.
Geraldine Lewis served as vice chair under Steve Youngdahl, and was unanimously voted in as chair, following a nomination by returning trustee, Purley Decker. Also nominated by Decker, Kelly was appointed as vice-chairman.
"I am very excited about working with the new board, and honored to be your chairman," Lewis said.
Kelly recently stepped down as a Bonner County commissioner, where he served as chairman of the board for four years. Prior to that, he spent 18 years in the marine division of the Bonner County Sheriff's Office, resigning in 2012 to run for elected office. He also spent 28 years in the United States Marine Corps as a naval aviator and colonel. Kelly and his wife, Mona, moved to Bonner County 24 years ago and have two children, five grandchildren and a dog. All five grandchildren attended public school in Sandpoint.
Suppiger is the founder, owner and manager of Panhandle Forest Products. He holds a bachelor's degree in art and chemistry and a master's in forestry from Duke University. He and his wife, Sally, reside in Cocolalla and his three children attended public school in the district. His volunteer work includes serving as a Sagle Elementary math coach for 12 years. He has also served on district committees for levies, budgets, curriculum and parent district coordinating.
Williams is the vice president of Sandpoint Title Insurance where he has worked since graduating from Gonzaga University in 2009. His family owns the company and he has lived in the Sandpoint area since he was 2 years old. He and his wife Katie are both products of LPOSD and he believes that playing sports in the district helped shape the person he is today. After moving back to the area after college, where he also played soccer, he began coaching soccer for the high school and the Strikers.
The rest of Tuesday's meeting went quickly as the trustees appointed Lisa Hals as treasurer, Kelly Fisher as clerk, and Hals, Fisher and Superintendent Shawn Woodward as "authorized agents" for LPOSD.
Before departing, Lewis offered some words of encouragement to the new board members.
"I would just encourage you to pay attention and listen to all the constituents within your zones, and also to get into the schools as frequently as you can, just so you are familiar with the day-to-day education process and what that looks like in your zone," Lewis said. "... We don't as a full board go into the schools, but maybe we can set some time aside to do that, because that is an important part of the knowledge we bring here (to the meetings), is that we know what's happening in the schools.
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