Linman picked for Re-1 board |

Linman picked for Re-1 board

Pete FowlerGlenwood Springs correspondent
Sonja Linman

Aspen, CO ColoradoGLENWOOD SPRINGS The school board is full again.Wednesday night, the Roaring Fork School District Re-1 Board of Education appointed Sonja Linman to fill departing board member Susan Hakanson’s term.Board President Michael Bair flipped a dime after the two 30- to 45-minute interviews as a joke indicating the toughness of the decision. “Right now we have two very strong candidates for the position,” he said.Linman expressed her thanks for the opportunity.”This is a privilege,” she said after being sworn in. “Thank you very much. I feel honored.”Board members said they felt Linman had more on-the-ground experience as a teacher and involvement with the school district.She helped form Yampah Mountain High School, where she has taught for 17 years. She’s also been involved in the district through various things like accountability committees and principal search committees.Board members said because of her familiarity with the district, she would have a faster learning curve.Board Members saw Stan Orr as someone with a strong business sense and vast experience sitting on governing boards. He hasn’t lived in the area as long, but said he taught for about six or seven years prior to moving to Glenwood Springs.Orr works in an association management company he formed, Nonprofit Resources. He said it provides management services for educationally-focused nonprofit organizations, such as internal and external communications, publications, Web sites, scheduling of meetings and conferences.Linman and Orr were the only candidates who applied for the vacant position.Bruce Wampler was the first to call it as he saw it after the interviews.”It isn’t even close to me,” he said. “Here’s why: it’s about the kids. … Sonja answered nearly every question with “it’s the kids.”The board took one vote resulting in a tie with Brad Ziegel and Bruce Wampler voting for Linman. Another vote was taken after additional discussion, with Michael Bair and Bob Johnson eventually changing their vote to Linman.”It was a very, very difficult decision for us,” Bair said.Both candidates said they would have to step back and think about it when the board asked them if they would run for re-election in November – when the appointment ends.”You guys are amazing, so thank you,” Hakanson said with tears forming in her eyes. “You give a lot of time and love to these kids, and nobody’s here with an agenda.”