Updated: October 18, 2012 at 12:00 am
Ellicott School District 22 has a new board member.
Floyd Rehkopf was appointed by the school board in a unanimous vote on the second ballot during a regular meeting Thursday.
He will serve until November 2013 and then would have to run for election if he wants to remain in the seat.
The four board members had interviewed Rehkopf and five other candidates earlier in the session.
Rehkopf is retired from the Air Force and from the El Paso County Transportation Department. He served once before on the Ellicott school board, in 1993, for about six months by appointment.
The board did not make any comments about individual candidates, except to say that all six were excellent and that it was a hard choice to make. On the first ballot Amy Murray, an Ellicott substitute teacher, received two votes, as did Rehkopf.
The board asked all candidates the same questions; some focused on how well they could better relations between the board and community.
Rehkopf said board members should be available and realize there are many points of view. “I like to meet with people in person and discuss things,” he said. “And I take nothing personally.”
He said he wanted to serve because “I’d like to see our kids be prepared for the world, to meet the technical challenges. And I can help with that.”
He takes the seat vacated by Vice President MaryAnna Clemons. She resigned last month after county election officials ruled that petitions to recall her could go forward to an election.
There have been three board recall attempts in three years that have left the district divided and divisive. A dismal showing academically in recent years led to three board members being voted off.
The district’s new superintendent, Patrick Cullen, who started in July, has done much to calm the community, calling for a stop to infighting and asking everyone to concentrate on educating the district’s children. He is taking steps to improve achievement at the academically hurting school district, including aligning curriculum to common core standards and creating appropriate interventions for all students, whether advanced or academically challenged.
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