Members of the Alpine School Board already had their decision made when they walked into their monthly business meeting to elect a new president.
Richard Gappmayer, vice president of the board for the past year, was elected unanimously Tuesday and was the only member nominated.The new president, who will serve a two-year term, said after the meeting that the five board members have been discussing during telephone conversations the past several weeks who should fill the position.
If there was any debate, it apparently took place during those conversations, because board members made no comments about the candidate until after he was elected.
Blake Evans, who has served on the board for two years, was elected vice president with equal ease.
Gappmayer said board members frequently speak on the phone about district issues.
"We knew this presidency was coming up, and we discussed that. We had private conversations and over the phone made that decision some time ago. I think it would be inappropriate for us to go in cold to something like that," he said. "I'd like to continue the telephone conversations with board members."
Such communication between board members has made Gappmayer believe he's an important part of the decision process, and he said being president won't be much different from his past experience.
"I think our work has been pretty coordinated in the past, so I don't think it will change things an awfully lot. I've had a lot of impact in the past."
The new president does have several goals for the board to work on in 1989. He hopes to encourage board members to work closely with the Legislature and perhaps persuade lawmakers to increase per-student funding 3 percent next year. Gappmayer said teachers deserve a raise to keep up with inflation, but that can't be done without financial support from the state.
Board members also may work to convince the state school board that electronics classes deserve to be considered for science course credit, because the new technology has become so important in society, he said.
"My personal goal will be to try to build the professionalism of the board through things like training seminars in curriculum and school law," he said.
Gappmayer succeeds Jan Lewis, president for the past two years.
"I certainly do appreciate the confidence my fellow board members have expressed in me by electing me to this position," he said. "I know that my feet are bigger than Jan's, but I'll have a hard time filling her shoes."
Gappmayer has been a member of the board for four years and was elected in November to a second four-year term.