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Retired attorney appointed to Superior School Board

The Superior School Board chose to appoint John Hendricks as its seventh member Monday night. Hendricks will fill a position on the board left vacant when former board president Dave Tunell did not seek reelection this April. Leah Raboin was elec...

The Superior School Board chose to appoint John Hendricks as its seventh member Monday night.

Hendricks will fill a position on the board left vacant when former board president Dave Tunell did not seek reelection this April.

Leah Raboin was elected to fill the board position April 3 but decided to step down before being sworn in to the board. Raboin ran unopposed in the election.

Hendricks, a retired attorney, has one child in the school district and another who graduated last year. He is active in the district as president of the Superior Scholarship Foundation and as a member of Superior High School's parent involvement committee.

Hendricks said he's been interested in serving on the board for some time, but refrained from running earlier because he worked for the law firm of Knudson, Gee & Torvinen. Kenneth Knudson represents the school district.

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Hendricks said he was concerned about that connection, but now he is retired and serves the firm only of council.

The time was right and the opportunity presented itself, he said.

The board sought applications from community members for its position and netted five interested candidates.

Hendricks, Gail Mentzel, Tracy Flynn Udeen and Dawn Anderson interviewed for the position Monday night. Pamela Tafelski withdrew her application prior to the meeting.

During the interview, applicants voiced concerns about program cuts, communication and taxes.

Hendricks said he feels it's important to work well with other board members.

The two greatest assets of a board member are the ability to listen to other members with an open mind and the willingness to make decisions, he said.

The biggest challenge for a school board is working with the budget it has available. Board members also need to make policies and be supportive of the administration when it they are being carried out, he said.

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The board voted in a paper ballot following the interview and came up with a three-way tie between Hendricks, Mentzel and Anderson.

The vote was followed with a final question for the three remaining applicants.

Hendricks came out on top in the following paper ballot.

"I believe real strongly about education," he said.

Following the vote, Hendricks joined the board in a non-voting capacity for the remainder of the meeting. He will be sworn on to the board at its regular meeting Monday.

Upon being sworn in, Hendricks will serve on the curriculum and operations committees.

"I want to see if I can work with these folks to provide the best education for the kids, (parents and taxpayers,)" he said.

The board had four great candidates to choose from, said Len Albrecht, school board president.

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"It was a tough decision," he said.

All the candidates were equally passionate and talented, said board member William Rhenstrand.

He suggested to Mentzel, Anderson and Udeen they run for the school board in an upcoming election.

In other business: The board moved forward a recommendation by the administration to approve the district's property and casualty insurance renewal for the 2007-2008 school year. On Monday, the board also will consider approval of the district's Fund 73 investment policy and a $43,400 bid for boiler installation at Cooper Elementary School.

Anna Kurth covers education. Call her at (715) 395-5019 or e-mail akurth@superiortelegram . com.

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