Newcomer Grace Malson was appointed as the new Galt Joint Union Elementary School District board member Thursday night after nearly three hours of interviews and discussion.
Malson, 33, barely beat out former board member Pat Maple, who was ultimately voted down by board members who cited controversial blog posts and stances he has taken in the community in previous years.
Malson’s appointment was not without serious consideration, however. All four of the current board members considered one major question throughout their discussion of which candidate they should select — would the board choose a fresh face or an old hat?
But Malson, a nearly life-long Galt resident, eventually proved to be the candidate all four board members nominated for the position vacated by former trustee Jennifer Collier, who resigned last month for personal reasons.
Currently a stay-at-home mom, Malson provided an extensive resume to the board during the application process.
At nearly three pages, it includes detailed descriptions of her experience as a recreation coordinator or manager in multiple cities, including Lodi, Fairfield and Galt.
“I am a little overwhelmed right now,” she said following her appointment. “But I am excited. I want to be a voice for the children, including my own. That is why I got involved.”
Among the applicants were two former school trustees — Pat Maple, who served on the Galt Joint Union High School District board for years, and Robert Ellis, a former elementary trustee.
Ellis was ultimately not chosen because board members were unsure of how frequently he could attend meetings, as he often works in China.
“Congratulations, Grace,” he said after she was selected. “It was a difficult decision, but the board made the right one.”
Ellis opted not to seek re-election in 2010 after winning a seat in 2006 and being appointed to the same board in 2005.
In his application, Maple touted his past experience and fiscal management in running his own business for nearly 40 years. “More simply said ... I want to help,” he said.
Other applicants included retired Galt police officer William Hogan and Hillary Crownover, who works at Taco Bell and volunteers in the Fairsite Readiness Program.
Malson will serve through December 2012, at which time she can run for election to remain on the board.
The district opted against holding a special election to fill Collier’s seat because of the cost, and because the next general election is only a year away.
News-Sentinel staff writer Jennifer Bonnett contributed to this report.
Contact reporter Katie Nelson at email@example.com.