Three members sworn in on Farmington school board

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The Farmington School Board opened 2017 by swearing in three members, making Jake Cordes the new chair and voting to raise their annual salaries by 2 percent.

Board members Tera Lee and Laura Beem were replaced with Kristin Goodreau and Jacilyn Doyle. Incumbents Jake Cordes and Julie Singewald retained their seats for the four-year term.

Doyle, Singewald and Cordes were sworn in at Monday's meeting. Goodreau had been sworn in Nov. 28. Lee had left mid-term and Goodreau, elected through a special election, took her place on the board right after the election.

"I'm excited," Doyle said the afternoon before her swearing in. "I feel like I'm ready to start."

Doyle, a life-long Farmington resident, is a social studies teacher. She is married to her husband Steve and together they have two daughters.

She said her goals for the district are unchanged from her campaign platform.

"The biggest issue facing the district right now is finding a long-term budgetary solution, so that we do not continue to propose new levies for taxpayers every few years," she said during her campaign.

Making technology relevant to real-time jobs also is something she wants to work on.

"We need to make sure the technology students use on a daily basis will hold real-world application for them once they graduate," she said.

Having worked in education for the past nine years, she is excited to do the annual "boardwalks" in which board members walk through the district's nine schools, meet the principals and get acquainted with the staff.

"I'm looking at it as another job," she said. "I'm willing to put in whatever time it takes."

Once the members were sworn in, nominations were taken for titles and responsibilities.

Jake Cordes is the new chair (a position formerly held by Singewald). Singewald is the vice-chair. Member Steve Corraro is the clerk and Doyle is the treasurer.

Board members get an annual salary. The board chair receives $5,250 and board members receive $4,200.

Singewald made a motion to raise the amount 2 percent, changing the salaries to $5,350 and $4,300.

The motion was approved, with all members voting yes except for Goodreau and Melissa Sauser who voted no.

Singewald said the raise was keeping in line with inflation, comparing the board to private businesses.

Goodreau said she did not see the board in that way and was more concerned with keeping costs low, a highlight of her campaign.

"I believe the budget and financial issues are going to be our biggest challenge in the coming years," she said during her campaign.

Singewald said she thought the increase was "reasonable" and prefered to increase incrementally instead of raising the salaries by a lot "to catch up" every few years.

Sauser voted no because the board had not yet decided if it would take a trip to a national conference, which would add expenses above and beyond the salaries. She asked to table the decision, but was overruled.