Changes afoot: Houghton-Portage Township School Board elects new officers for first time in 3 years

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Houghton-Portage Township School Board President Buck Foltz, middle, and Superintendent Doreen Klingbeil discuss the election of new board members during a meeting Tuesday night.

HOUGHTON — Having crossed a stream, the Houghton-Portage Township School District Board changed its horses.

The Board chose a new slate of officers for the first time in three years at its monthly meeting Monday. Although it typically follows a two-year rotation, it extended the positions an additional year last year to ensure continuity during the campaign for a bond.

The board selected Buck Foltz as president, following the longstanding practice of elevating the previous vice president. Other officers are Vice President Nels Christopherson, Secretary Crystal Verran and Treasurer Amanda Massaway. Verran is continuing as secretary.

“I think it’s important that we move these positions, because long ago, on a planet far, far away, they never moved at all, and that created a culture that was less than desirable,” Foltz said.

Brad Baltensperger, trustee and outgoing president, said about 20 years ago the board began trying to rotate new people into officer positions. Previously, he said, presidential power had been concentrated in one person, while other people “faded into the background.”

“I think we’ve been very successful,” Foltz said. “People who’ve been interested in serving in certain positions or serving as president have been serving in those positions … serving on the board, it’s this collective responsibility.”