Longtime educator Bruce Potts became president of Davenport School Board late Monday after a lengthy board meeting. Additionally, two new board members were sworn in while two former directors bid farewell.
Both Potts and board member Linda Hayes were nominated as president, with Potts winning 4 to 3. Dan Gosa, who was nominated as vice president along with Allison Beck, will serve as vice president. He was also elected by a 4 to 3 vote.
At the beginning of the regular school board meeting, several people took the podium to congratulate the outgoing board members for their service. Among them was Davenport Mayor Frank Klipsch, who thanked the whole board. "I know you're all committed in your own ways to make a difference in the lives of children and families in the community."
Among the speakers was Davenport Mayor-elect Mike Matson also spoke: "We always say 'As the schools go, the city goes, and vice versa,'" he said. "We as a city and you as a school board need to talk more."
Only one person spoke during open forum: Abigail Talken, a sophomore at West High School, supports block scheduling. "I don't think you've made the hard decisions," she said. "I believe the easy decision was to go with what saves money," not what is best for students.
She started a petition to keep block scheduling, and it has 261 signatures, she said. "I really wanted to show how passionate I am about this."
In other business, the board approved supplementing Committee of the Whole meetings with with open learning sessions with the Iowa Association of School Boards.
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