It was a meeting full of congratulations for the Lodi Unified School District Board of Trustees on Tuesday. Returning members and new members were sworn in, while a change of leadership took place for the boards officers.
Ralph Womack, a one-year veteran of the board, has been appointed president for 2013. Trustee Joe Nava will continue as vice president. Trustee George Neely was appointed board clerk.
Former board president Ron Heberle was presented with a plaque for his service this past year, and congratulated by board members and district staff.
"I've been very comfortable with you as a leader. You never rattle. That shows the leadership was there and you have everything under control," said Nava at the podium while the plaque was presented.
Heberle thanked the board for their support during his tenure.
"I enjoyed it more than I thought I would, but it takes much more time that I thought it would," he said.
Ron Freitas, the newest trustee appointed in October, was sworn in by San Joaquin County Court Judge Seth Hoyt. Freitas' wife and children were present. Freitas is replaceing Micheal Abdallah, who chose not to run for re-election this year.
Current trustees Womack and Nava were sworn in for a two-year term on the board. Each was unopposed in the November election and were able to remain on the board. They were each sworn in by Judge Lauren Thomasson.
For longtime district employees Lois John, a secretary for the board of education, and Art Hand, assistant superintendent of facilities and planning, this meeting was their last before retirement. John's duties will be taken on by other secretaries in the district office. Hand's duties will be managed by Tim Hern, the chief business officer for the district.
Contact reporter Sara Jane Pohlman at email@example.com.