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New school board members start

The three new members of the Jamestown Public School Board reviewed procedures, policies, operations and responsibilities of the board at an orientation meeting Tuesday.

Incoming board members Bob Toso, Mindi Schmitz and Brenda Roemmich will attend another orientation meeting next month and possibly a third before they attend a day-long training session at the North Dakota School Board Association annual meeting as required by the North Dakota Century Code.

“It’s a full overview of what it is to be a board member and what you’ve been elected into,” said Greg Allen, a board member who is also the current NDSBA president. “It’s a great way to get your feet wet in some of your responsibilities. They talk about ethics, they talk about rules and regulations, they talk about leadership, a lot of different topics.”

The new board members have been assigned mentors to help their integration move along more smoothly. Toso was assigned to Allen, Roemmich will work with board president Roger Haut, and Schmitz’s mentors are board members Diane Hanson and vice president Heidi Larson. All board members are paid $200 a month to attend regular meetings, except the board president who is paid $250 a month, and all members are paid $40 for attending each committee meeting. The payments are comparable to other districts in the state and have not been adjusted since 2008.

After reviewing an NDSBA document on responsibilities of board members, Schmitz said she felt it was vital for members to come to meetings prepared.

“Respect the sanctity of your vote — what we’re doing is really important,” she said. “We’ve got to do our homework, and we’ve got to vote with all the information that we have, not just necessarily with your gut or your heart, but you’ve got to do what’s right.”

Toso said it was important for the School Board to be a cheerleader for the schools.

“Not everything we do is positive,” Toso said. “But if the School Board doesn’t believe we have a great school system, than who else is going to believe it? You can’t just say it, you’ve got to live it.”

Sun reporter David Luessen can be reached at 701-952-8455 or by email at dluessen at