COEUR d'ALENE — Coeur d'Alene School Board Trustee Jen Brumley was voted into the position of board vice chair during the board's annual meeting Jan. 6.
The decision came after a 3-2 vote that moved Lisa May out of the position she's held for a year. May, who was elected to the board in 2017, was voted into the vice chair position unanimously last January when former Trustee Tom Hearn relinquished his vice chairmanship.
Trustees Brumley, Tambra Pickford and Chairman Casey Morrisoe all voted in favor of the move, while May and Trustee Rebecca Smith voted against it.
May said she did not seek re-nomination for vice chair because prior to the meeting, she became aware that she “did not have the support of the board to continue in my role as vice chair.”
“There are differences in opinion regarding how we approach the many challenging issues before us,” May said. “Although disappointing, this result does not diminish my commitment to serve our students, teachers and community as a whole.”
During the meeting, Morrisroe asked if anyone was interested in the vice chair position, to which Brumley positively replied. Pickford made a motion to nominate Brumley for vice chair, and Morrisroe seconded the motion.
The voting took place with no comment or discussion.
"I voted for Jen because she expressed an interest in serving as vice chair and has previously said she'd be interested in the chair role," Morrisroe said when asked for comment. "It seemed natural to give her the opportunity to gain experience over the coming year. That was important to me because, as I have stated many times, I feel I'll be ready to step aside as chair next January after serving in the role for four and a half years."
The board also voted 4-1 for Morrisroe to continue that role as chair. May voted against him.
Morrisroe downplayed any appearance of internal angst.
"Decisions regarding chair and vice chair have rarely been unanimous," said Morrisroe, who was elected to the board in 2015. "Regardless, I appreciate the support of my colleagues and look forward to working with all of them on the important issues in front of us. I feel fortunate to be a part of this diverse group of trustees that bring a wide variety of talents, perspectives and experiences to the dais."
Brumley was first appointed to the Zone 4 seat of the school board in August 2018 to fill the vacancy left by outgoing Trustee Dave Eubanks, with the term expiring in 2021. She said she was interested in the vice chair position "because I could see down the road I may have an interest in the chair position and wanted to test the waters."
"Lisa did a great job and I appreciate her insights and perspective on many of the issues facing the board," Brumley said. "I am grateful for the opportunity and look forward to the next year."