The Bend-La Pine School Board welcomed two new members and adjusted its leadership structure during a Tuesday meeting.
The board unanimously voted to keep Ron Gallinat as chairman, while elevating Cheri Helt — currently vice chairwoman — to co-chairwoman. Among other things, Helt will be responsible for organizing and running board workshops during the coming year. Gallinat will continue to run meetings and help set the board's agenda.
The board has used the co-chair model before, particularly during busy years, according to district spokeswoman Julianne Repman.
“It depends on the workload the board wants to take on. It's an effective way to distribute responsibility at the board level,” Repman said.
Gallinat also swore in Julie Craig and Mike Jensen as board members.
Craig fills the seat that has been open since Kelly Goff's death in May. A Bend resident, Craig also works for the city as a code enforcement technician.
Jensen takes over from longtime board member Tom Wilson, who resigned his seat representing southern Deschutes County after moving to Bend during the 2011-12 school year. Jensen, of Sunriver, is a local businessman who also served on the district's La Pine Advisory Board.
Gallinat predicted a year busy with workshops and possible revisions to the district's comprehensive plan. That work should bbe eased with the new board structure, he said.
“It takes a lot of time for the board to put (workshops) together. With (Helt) having that focus, it takes a little off my plate,” Gallinat said.
The board next meets for its annual retreat on Aug. 10 and will hold its first full meeting with new board members on Aug. 28.