A Putnam Township resident has been chosen to join the Pinckney Community Schools Board of Education.

The Board interviewed two finalist candidates at their meeting Thursday, seeking someone to fill the seat left open due to former Trustee Rob Guilloz’s resignation. Board members asked questions regarding the applicant’s motivation for applying, qualifications and their thoughts on challenges and highlights in Pinckney schools and the state’s public education as a whole. After the interviews, board members, excluding Superintendent Rick Todd for protocol reasons, voted to appoint Bill Wearne to the position. Wearne’s interview was conducted over the phone due to his prior work engagements.

Wearne has two children that are elementary school students in the district, explaining his motive behind applying and being engaged in school volunteerism. Todd says one of the things that stood out to board members was Wearne’s thoughts on making decisions that are in the best interest of the district’s students. On the back of each board member’s nameplate is the phrase “Is it good for kids?” Wearne was asked what that means to him and Todd says many board members liked his definition. Wearne responded to say it means making decisions keeping in mind what he would want for his own children, and then determine whether it’s best for all students.

Wearne also voiced beliefs regarding the importance of engaging community members, seeking their opinions and collaborative partnership. The new board member believes the biggest issues facing the district are declining enrollment and the subsequent loss of per-pupil funding, while feels the district excels in marketing. In terms of statewide public education, Wearne thinks one governing body setting regulations for all public schools in Michigan, instead of based on what’s best for each district, is an issue. (DK)