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Shelton School Board elects new chair

Matt Welander is the new chairman of the Shelton School Board.

The Shelton School Board at its Jan. 9 meeting voted 4-1 to appoint Welander, who had been serving as vice chair. Board member Becky Cronquist cast the dissenting vote without comment.

Welander was elected to the school board in 2021 and represents District 3. He is a firefighter/paramedic with the West Mason Fire Department. He replaces Keri Davidson, who was elected unanimously by the board as vice chair.

Davidson talked about the role of the board chair before the election of new officers.

“This is an important position because you get to be the person that truly coordinates the communication amongst board members, because due to the Open Public Meeting Act, we can’t all be on a text thread. Many people don’t understand this. We can’t email each other or else it’s a public meeting, so we have to individually communicate, and that can take some coordination.”

The election process began with Cronquist nominating Davidson for another term. Board member Lauren Gilmore nominated Welander.

“I very much appreciate Becky’s nomination, but I am going to decline,” Davidson said. “It’s been two years me being chairperson of the board, and I’ve enjoyed doing that, but I do, in my own personal philosophy when I came on the board eight years ago, there were many people capable of that, as there are now, and I think it’s important for the community to see that as well. I’m still going to be on the board, willing to help whoever is the chairman, and I know Matt’s been doing a good job as the vice chair.”

Board member Karla Knudsen-Johnston nominated Davidson for vice chair, “with her wealth of information. We are fairly new with the board, and we need some continuity and history.”

Gilmore was unanimously voted the board’s legislative representative.

The board also has three student representatives who attend the meetings and give updates on what’s going on at their schools, but do not vote. They are Aiden Underberg of Cedar High School, Rhylea Sanders of CHOICE High School and Abigayle Hurst of Shelton High School.

Author Bio

Gordon Weeks, Reporter

Shelton-Mason County Journal & Belfair Herald

 

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