The Lake Orion Community School’s Board of Education met on Monday for a special meeting to fill the vacant trustee position. The board interviewed four candidates before unanimously selecting Mary Jo Burchart.
The board was tasked with filling in the vacant seat when Secretary Dana Mermell left the board on July 16 just weeks after the board selected Ben Kirby as the new district Superintendent.
The three other candidates interviewed for the were Edwina Patterson, Danielle Bresett and Susan Flaherty. All three are running for school board in Nov.
Burchart, however, is not running in Nov. but has several years of experience on the Lake Orion school board. Burchart served on the board from 2000-2012, serving as president, vice-president, treasurer and trustee. One of her more notable achievements being president during the official hiring of Marion Ginopolis, recently retired Superintendent of LOCS and being involved in the passing of the sinking fund.
“While I don’t have kids in the district anymore, I’m still a member of this community. So what goes on in this community is still important to me and I threw my hat in the ring, so to speak, because I know what it’s like to have a board member leave without a ton of notice and you have to find someone to fill the seat,” Burchart said. “I know that there’s a learning curve with that and with all that you guys are going to be doing this term and this next bit of months that the interim person is in…I thought that by putting myself in the mix, I could give you the option of having somebody who understands the basics of boardsmanship, who understands school finance…and not have to worry about bringing me up to speed while you’re tackling some of these things that are things that a year ago, you wouldn’t even have had on your radar of things to consider. So, I just want to be of service. If I can be of service to you, I’m more than happy to.”
Burchart’s first board meeting is scheduled for Aug. 12. — M.K.