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School board approves new member


dani palmer / Petersburg Pilot

Superintendent Erica Kludt-Painter (left) swears in new school board member Mara Lutomski during a special meeting Monday evening at the district office.

Mara Lutomski became "fired up" to get involved with the community through the school board during talks surrounding the state's budget shortfall and local impacts.

"I am impressed at the responsible fiscal choices that this district has made and I want to be a part of that decision making process," she wrote in her letter of interest.

The Petersburg School Board approved her as its new member during a special meeting Monday evening at the District Office. Former board president Jean Ellis' resignation was effective March 18.

Lutomski was the lone candidate, turning in her letter on April 14, a few days after the deadline which was extended due to a lack of interest.

Members reviewed Lutomski's letter Monday then followed up with questions. President Sarah Holmgrain asked, again, why she wanted to join the board.

"I want to be more actively involved in the decisions that will help shape how my kids will go through school and how they'll experience their school," Lutomski said.

When prompted, she said she believed funding, shuffling around the district's money to make the best use of it, would be the board's biggest upcoming challenge.

Lutomski added that she's very detail oriented, does her research and is comfortable speaking in public, so she could help "bat for the board" at meetings and conferences.

She's never been on another professional board, but did serve as the program director of the Farthest North Girl Scout Council for awhile, responsible for planning and directing the summer camp program.

The school board voted unanimously to accept Lutomski as its newest member.

She will serve until the October elections, when she may run to retain her position.

"There's nothing right now that would take me away from the board," Lutomski said.


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