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Matter over mind wins vacant school board seat in Jackson Northwest


By RJ Walters / For the Jackson Citizen Patriot

The Northwest School Board chose allegiance and eagerness over financial expertise when filling a vacant seat Wednesday.

With a 4-2 board vote, Trish Kampf, a 1992 Northwest graduate, was selected over Doug Atkins, a CPA with Markowski & Company in Spring Arbor.

The vote sat at a 3-3 standstill for several minutes before another vote gave Kampf the seat formerly held by Jim Lawrie. Lawrie resigned last month after 24 years on the board.

Board member Kim Jayne said it is fitting to see Kampf earn an official title after a couple of years of being involved with the district.

“She’s really passionate about where we’re going, and she took a very avid interest in all of the interviews for the superintendent and even went with us on the site visit,” she said, referring to a trip to Sault Ste. Marie to meet with new superintendent Dr. Tim Hall.

Kampf, whose term will last until June 2011, has two children in the school district and said she tries to be a good civil servant whenever she’s not working as a career manager at South Central Michigan Works.

“Having graduated from Northwest and lived here since then, I really want the community to embrace the district again as they once did. … With the (voting down) of millages and things like that, we just really need to make sure the kids come first and the community stays involved,” she said.

Board President Chris Kelly and members Phil LaMaire and Robert Sayles approved of Kampf but thought Atkins’ accounting background might be especially useful during this time of fiscal conservancy.

“We could learn a lot from Doug in the next however many months because we don’t have that strength of such a financial background on the board right now,” Sayles said.

Five applicants interviewed for the vacancy.

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About rjwalters

I am what you think I am — a journalist. Actually when I was hired at my current job, which by the way is Sports Editor of the Hillsdale Daily News in Hillsdale, Mich., I applied for a position titled "Wordsmith", so at my best I'll call myself a writer attempting to be a wordsmith extraordinaire.

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