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The new Buena Vista Board of Education (BOE) convened Monday evening after four of the five recently elected members were sworn in by county clerk Lori Mitchell. New member Mallory Brooks was unable to attend.

Buena Vista School District Logo courtesy

At the start of the regular meeting, the Board voted to fill the positions of president, vice president, secretary, and treasurer. Three of the open positions were contested and came down to a written vote by the six present members.

In the end, Jessica Crites was selected to be the new president. Brett Mitchell retained his position as Vice President. Lynn Montoya was uncontested for the position of new board secretary, and George Richardson was selected as the new treasurer after two rounds of voting.

Below is a breakdown of the candidates and results for the positions of president and vice president:

County Clerk Lori Mitchell swears in new BV BOE members (from left to right) George Richardson, Paula Dylan, Norm Nyberg, and Brett Mitchell. New member Mallory Brooks was not able to attend and will be sworn in separately at a later date. Photo by Carly Winchell


4 Votes: Jessica Crites (nominated by Brett Mitchell, seconded by George Richardson)

1 Vote: Paula Dylan (nominated by Norm Nyberg, seconded by Mitchell)

1 Vote: Brett Mitchell (he was not nominated)

Vice President

4 Votes: Brett Mitchell (nominated by Dylan, seconded by Crites)

2 Votes: Paula Dylan (nominated by Nyberg, seconded by Lynn Montoya)

The initial vote for treasurer resulted in a three-to-three tie between Dylan (nominated by Nyberg, seconded by Crites) and Richardson (nominated by Mitchell, seconded by Montoya).

To help settle the tie, the board discussed each candidate and asked to hear from them directly.

Mitchell began by explaining that he nominated Richardson to maintain continuity since Richardson has a four-year term while Dylan was elected to a two-year position.

Richardson said, of all the positions, he felt most comfortable with being treasurer due to his business background. He explained serving in a more comfortable position would give him more room to learn about the education side of things.

“I’m willing to serve anywhere, but I’m okay,” concluded Richardson.

In response to Mitchell’s comment about continuity, Dylan assured the board that she intended to serve longer than two years.

“My plan is to be on the board for longer than two years,” said Dylan. “I don’t think continuity is going to be a problem.”

Dylan also explained that she has served for years on the District Accountability Committee (DAC) and has a background in finance for the district and compliance, both of which would be beneficial for the treasurer and allow her to look at numbers and check on small details.

She went on to say that serving on the DAC would be beneficial to new members like Richardson or Brooks because it is an avenue to understanding the district as a whole by learning from community members.

The second round of voting resulted in four votes for Richardson and two for Dylan.

Lynn Montoya was nominated as secretary by Dylan, with a second by Nyberg. With no other candidates, she automatically received the position.

The Board decided to leave committee appointments for a meeting where Brooks is present though Mitchell expressed his desire to remain as the board representative for the Board of Cooperative Educational Services (BOCES).