By Nicole Minier
CHURUBUSCO — Smith-Green Community Schools took care of its New Year’s decisions during Monday night’s meeting.
With all of the same members returning to the board after the 2016 election, not much has changed for the SGCS board, except for the person leading the meetings.
Dean Geiger has taken over the role as board president, replacing Luke Gross who is stepping down from the spot after two years.
Gross cited his growing responsibilities at his job as his reason for not showing interest in being board president anymore, but said he’s appreciated his time as the group’s leader — and the others have appreciated him as well.
“Luke has been a dear friend and colleague and I enjoyed working with him,” said SGCS Superintendent Galen Mast. “We’ve had a lot of long conversations. Thank you for your time and effort that sometimes go unnoticed.”
Geiger is the fourth person on the five-member board to fill the role as president. Earlier in 2016 — he was looking to step down from his board position.
Geiger didn’t run for re-election in 2016; however, no candidates filed for his position, making Geiger the automatic board member, unless he chose to step down.
“Once I decided I was going to be on the board, I was fully committed to my position,” Geiger said.
The five-member board has 29 collective years of experience.
Cathy Petrie (10 years) and Nick Uecker (9 years) have already been SGCS board members, and Carey Jacquay has 2 years on the board, making Geiger, with four years of experience, the logical choice to lead the group.
“Someone just has to sit in this (president’s) chair,” Geiger said. “No one vote carries more weight than the rest. We have an outstanding group — we work together and get along.”
Uecker remained the board’s vice president, and Petrie took over the secretary’s role from Jacquay.
The board members’ salaries for 2017 were also approved at Monday’s meeting. Board members will receive $2,000 a year — per state statute.
Attorney Erik Weber, of Auburn, was selected as the SGCS legal counsel.
The Churubusco News and Albion New Era were announced as the annual appointments for legal advertisements.
Board members were appointed to the following committees:
• Athletic Advisory Committee: Gross and Uecker
• Board of Charitable Trust: Petrie
• Wellness Committee: Jacquay
• Eagle Garden Committee: Petrie
• High Ability: Geiger and Jacquay.