Apple Valley resident appointed to School Board

by Andrew Millercoulson-c.jpg
Thisweek Newspapers

Apple Valley resident Art Coulson has been appointed to fill the vacancy on the seven-member District 196 School Board.

Coulson, 47, a former newspaper editor and the father of two school-age daughters, was one of five finalists vying for the opening on the School Board vacated by Bruce Endler after his resignation in January.

Coulson
currently serves on the district’s Native American Parent Advisory
Committee and Curriculum and Instruction Advisory Council. He said he
looks forward to tackling budget issues during his tenure on the board.

“The
biggest challenge will be figuring out what to do with declining state
aid,” he said. “You can’t cut your way to excellence.”

Coulson
and his family moved to Apple Valley from Rochester, N.Y., in 2000,
when he took a job as a senior editor at the St. Paul Pioneer Press. He
later became the paper’s editorial page editor and left shortly before
its sale in 2006.

Currently, Coulson runs a graphic design firm
with his wife, Laurie, and is also employed by the Ramsey County
Regional Rail Authority as a communications specialist.

Coulson
said he turned down job offers out of state because he and his wife
wanted to stay in Apple Valley, largely because of the quality of
education their daughters are receiving in the district.

“District
196 is known throughout Minnesota and the nation as a well-run,
high-performing district — and for good reason,” Coulson said.

“I
look forward to working with the board, staff, students and entire
community … to make an excellent school system even better.”

The
other finalists who interviewed for the vacancy were Susan Alexander,
Gary Huusko, Susan Johnson and Robin Ruegg, all of Eagan. The finalists
were interviewed by the board during a special meeting Feb. 25, which
was open to the public.

Immediately following the panel-style
interviews, the board conducted a series of secret-ballot votes which
eliminated at least one candidate each round until Coulson was selected
on the final ballot.

Coulson will take the oath of office at the
School Board’s next regular meeting March 10 and will serve the
remainder of Endler’s term, which runs through Jan. 4, 2010.

Andrew Miller can be reached at av.thisweek@ecm-inc.com.

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