Bresin, Grafft given fond farewell from school board

Now former school board members, Joe Grafft, right, and Bill Bresin found chairs in the audience during last Thursday’s meeting. (Photo by Cliff Buchan)

They served more than 30 years 

Cliff Buchan
News Editor

The Forest Lake School Board said goodbye to two long-serving members last week and welcomed two newcomers.

The Thursday, Jan. 5 meeting was the first in nearly 20 years that Bill Bresin has not been at the table as a board member. It was the same for Joe Grafft who has left the board after 12 years of service.

Combined, the now two former board members have nearly 32 years of service to the district. They did not seek reelection in the November 2011 election.

During its reorganizational meeting last week, the board welcomed Julie Corcoran back to the board. Corcoran and Gail Theisen are the two new faces now serving on the board.

Theisen was successful in her bid for office last fall and Corcoran was returned to the board. She served a four-year term before not running in the 2009 school board election.

Board President Rob Rapheal and Dan Kieger were both reelected last fall.

Bresin and Grafft were guests during a 30-minute social gathering prior to the meeting on Jan. 5. During the session, they were presented plaques recognizing their service.

Both received standing ovations and loud applause.

Rapheal praised Bresin for his “steadiness of leadership” and his “amazing influence” during his many years on the board. He also thanked Grafft for his work on behalf of students.

Bresin said it was his pleasure to work on behalf of the “best school district in Minnesota” which has the “best superintendent (Linda Madsen) in Minnesota.”

Grafft said he was proud of his service with fellow board members who care about kids. “I ran because I cared about kids,” Grafft said.

New Officers

The board also elected new officers for the coming calendar year.

Rapheal was reelected board president while the duties of vice-president fell to Erin Turner. Board member Karen Morehead was elected clerk while Kieger was elected treasurer.

All four elections came by unanimous votes.

Board members will receive the same compensation this year that they earned in 2011. Members are paid $300 a month with the president receiving an additional $200 a year and the clerk and treasurer paid an additional $100 a year.