Trustees Salvador Soto Jr., James Bennett, Keith Petrus and Troy Hughes voted in favor of Stautzenberger, while Rick Olivares opposed. Trustee Chris Lamprecht was not present.
After the conflict in January over which method to use to fill the seat, Monday’s meeting began with a request from S-TISD resident Thomas Mengers in the public forum.
“You have a golden opportunity here to appoint someone and not to play politics,” Mengers told the board. “Someone who would never run, because they’re not politically minded, but who would accept the opportunity.”
“I’m not giving you a name, but an idea,” he continued.
Mengers pleaded with trustees not to “tie the hands” of future boards by setting a fixed policy. He also urged the board not to consider their friends, people they knew would vote with them or people who ran in the November election and lost.
“We could have a better board by asking someone with no agenda,” Mengers said.
After going into executive session to choose a method to replace Haggard, Bennett made a motion to appoint someone from the community. It was seconded by Olivares and received a unanimous vote.
Olivares then nominated Gabriel Hinojosa. Soto nominated Pat Dougherty, and Hughes nominated Stautzenberger.
The board adjourned to closed session again to discuss the nominees.
Back in open session, Hinojosa received votes from Olivares and Petrus and was opposed by Soto, Hughes and Bennett.
Dougherty received one vote from Olivares and was opposed by the remaining four trustees.
Stautzenberger won the appointment. Superintendent Brett Belmarez said he officially accepted Wednesday and took his oath.
“He is now an official board member,” Belmarez said.
Stautzenberger is lifelong resident of Skidmore. His wife teaches fifth grade in the district, and his son is a 2005 S-T graduate who is now a respiratory therapist in Beeville.
The new trustee, a retired state employee, now runs his own business creating custom spurs.
Stautzenberger said he is excited to join the S-TISD board.
“Skidmore has always been a great school district with super administration, and I’m honored to be joining the team,” he said.
Stautzenberger said he had “kicked around the idea” of running to be on the school board for a few years.
“I’m retired now, so I have more time,” he said.
Stautzenberger will participate in his first board meeting March 7.
In other news, the S-TISD board:
• approved an early resignation incentive for the 2010-11 school year which gives teachers a monetary incentive to inform the district of retirement/resignations by March 11
• approved a letter requesting state support for flashing traffic signal lights marking the school safety zone at both entrances of the new elementary school building. The board will ask for some of the money to come from the state and some from the county
• was made aware of the district’s receiving the District Award for Teacher Excellence (DATE) grant, which awards the district $44,373 in paycheck money for TAKS core subject teachers in grades 3-11, which includes 31 teachers.
Sarah Taylor is a reporter at the Bee-Picayune and can be reached at 358-2550, ext. 122, or sarah@mySouTex.com.