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The 3-3 math adds up to no vice chair

Melissa Sauser looks up while answering a series of questions before being elected Farmington School Board chair Monday, Jan. 8, 2018. “I will make sure I have those communication lines open with board members and I will see if they have questions and I will know where their concerns, as well as making sure everyone at the table has an opportunity to be heard and when the vote is done, the decision is made,” Sauser said. Kara Hildreth / Contributor

Farmington School Board elected Melissa Sauser as new chair but was unable to agree on a vice chair. The six-member board split 3-3 several times.

Kristin Goodreau nominated Sauser to be the chair during the Monday, Jan. 8, meeting. Sauser replaces Jake Cordes.

Before the final approval, Board member Julie Singewald asked Sauser to answer a few questions.

"Outside of being the contact for the board with the superintendent and as the co-developer of the board agenda, what do you feel are the three most important aspects of being board chair?" Singewald said.

Sauser answered, "I think the first one is communication and reaching out to talk with all the board members individually, and that is something I plan to do in the next month, sit down with each board member and see what is important to them, what is the best way to contact them, so everyone is one the same page."

Next, Sauser said it was important to follow the district's strategic plan to make sure what the board does is based on students' needs.

"Third, it goes back to what we need to what we need to do — policy, superintendent and budget and we need to keep those in track," Sauser added.

Singewald then asked Sauser a series of questions including what would be the biggest change when she assumes the role as board chair.

"The biggest change in practice is that I am going to have a lot to learn; it will be a new experience and I look forward to working with everyone and doing so," Sauser said.

Reiterating communication is a key responsibility, Singewald said, "Board members, the superintendent, community members and key district staff like the teachers union reps require a level of trust that is gained from more than electronic communication."

Vice chair

The board tried but was unable to elect a new vice chair. The board voted three times as is the district's policy.

Singewald nominated Jacilyn Doyle as vice chair. Goodreau nominated Steve Corraro. Doyle received vice chair votes from Singewald, herself and Cordes. Corraro received vice chair votes from Goodreau, himself and Sauser.

Farmington School Board will address the vice chair position at the next regular board meeting.