MILTON

A familiar face will fill a Milton School Board seat left vacant following Betsy Lubke’s departure last month.

The board chose Mike Pierce to serve the final year of Lubke’s term. He previously served on the board from 1994 to 2012. Board members interviewed six candidates before Monday’s regular meeting.

Pierce was appointed with a 4-2 vote of approval (Diamond McKenna and Tom Westrick voted against).

Don Vruwink nominated Todd Evans for the position prior to the Pierce vote. Only Vruwink voted in favor of Evans, prompting Brian Kvapil to nominate Pierce.

Besides Pierce and Evans, other candidates included Shelly Crull-Hanke, Rick Ehle, Rowand Robinson and Harvey Smith. Crull-Hanke and Smith both ran unsuccessfully for the board during the spring election.

Pierce said after the meeting he wants to help unify the board and the community. He thought this was “very achievable” as long as he worked with his fellow board members and communicated well, he said.

Pierce previously told The Gazette his past experience and several years away from the board combined to make him a good candidate. He understood how the board worked but could bring a fresh perspective.

Vruwink sought a fresh outlook when he nominated Evans, who had no previous board experience. He thought appointing a complete outsider would help Milton overcome recent divisiveness.

When his motion failed, Vruwink cast the deciding vote to select Pierce.

The board also decided that Westrick will serve as the board’s new president. He replaces Bob Cullen, who did not seek re-election in April.

Vruwink will serve as vice president, Pierce will be treasurer and Karen Hall will serve as clerk.

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