An appointment will be made Nov. 23

Correction: A previous story said Richards would be recommended for appointment, but the resolution that board will consider will not include a recommendation for a particular candidate. The newspaper regrets the inaccurate information. 

After a day of eight, 30-minute interviews Wednesday with candidates to fill a vacant seat on the Lakeville Area School Board, Robin Richards gained the most support among board members, who numbered five with the addition of Cinta Schmitz on her first day on the board. An appointment will be considered at the Nov. 23 regular meeting, but will not include the name of a particular candidate.

No motion for a recommendation of a particular candidate was made at the meeting. 

All board members forwarded Richards to among the top two candidates to consider.

The other finalist candidate was Carly Anderson, who finished second in the Nov. 2 election to Schmitz.

Board Member Kathy Lewis said she preferred Anderson due to her mental health experience and since she ran in the previous election with a vote total close to Schmitz.

Board Member Terry Lind noted that Richards had support of all board members to advance to the final round. Schmitz said Richards has a background in education, as a parent volunteer, and is open minded and willing to work with people who don’t think like her. Board Member David Anderson also expressed his support for the appointment of Richards.

Board Chair Judy Keliher said they are fortunate to have two strong candidates.

She asked if it were to appoint Richards for board members to consider how to respond to feedback from the supporters of Anderson who have been emailing in support of her appointment, according to Keliher.

Schmitz says the board is following the process it set out to do in selecting the top candidate after interviews.

“We shouldn’t have to apologize for the decision we make,” she said.

Richards is a health coach. She was a public school administrator and teacher on special assignment in St. Paul Public Schools from 2013-17, according to the district. She was also a math teacher and curricular coach in Chaska and Las Vegas, Nevada.  

The seat was vacated by the resignation of Lynn Gorski in August after she was hired as assistant city manager in Farmington. The appointment would fill her term, which expires in December 2022.

The other candidates for the vacant seat were Kelly Detlefsen, Lisa Backer, Kimberly Baker, Jay Escobar, Sarah Lofgren and Sarah Welcome. They were among the 14 who applied during the Nov. 1-12 application window.

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