Wrenshall School Board appoints member to vacant position

After controversy erupted when the board last tried to fill the open position, the Wrenshall School Board held interviews for the newest applicants for the position.

Wrenshall School File.jpg
Wrenshall School Clint Austin / 2021 File / Duluth News Tribune
Clint Austin / 2021 File / Duluth News Tribune
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After receiving eight applicants for the vacant board position, the Wrenshall School Board voted 4-1 to appoint Cindy Bourn on Wednesday, Oct. 13.

A position has been open since the previous chair, Michelle Blanchard, became principal of Wrenshall School in August.

Bourn has a history with the school district as she served on the facilities subcommittee. She also has experience on multiple boards, most recently with her church, where she was involved in staff performance reviews and hiring and firing.

Her sincerest hope is to do some good while serving on the board, she said. Her term will last until Jan. 1, 2023.

“I will serve to the best of my ability,” she said. “I’d be happy if I have something I can count on later in life to say ‘I did some good.’”


Bourn had also run for the school board in 2018, losing to Blanchard, Jack Eudy and Debra Washenesky.

Filling the vacant position has not sparked any controversy in the community as it did when the board had appointed Bill Dian to the open position in September, only for Wrenshall residents to petition for a recall .

This time the board conducted interviews with seven of the candidates. One candidate withdrew for medical reasons before the interviews began.

The interviews included three questions:

  • Whether the candidates had enough time to serve on the board;
  • For the candidates to describe their previous involvement in volunteer work for the Wrenshall community or school district;
  • And finally if candidates could describe how a school board works and how they would act should a vote not go their way.

It took candidates a couple of minutes each to answer the set of questions, and less than 10 minutes later the board decided to go with Bourn.
The decision process did not involve much discussion among board members. Eudy asked for each member’s nomination from the seven remaining candidates, and if a motion was made and seconded on a candidate, a vote would take place.

Wrenshall Superintendent Kim Balcastro said she was happy to see eight people interested in the position and looks forward to working with Bourn.

“We have a lot of great things going on in the Wrenshall School District, and we are happy to have somebody that wants to give up their time and talent to our board,” she said.

Dylan covers the local governments of Cloquet and Carlton County, as well as the Esko and Wrenshall school boards for the Cloquet Pine Journal.
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