ALPENA — Anna Meinhardt on Thursday was selected as the newest Alpena Public Schools trustee during a special school board meeting held via the videoconferencing software Zoom.
Meinhardt was among three candidates interviewed for the partial term that expires on Dec. 31, 2022. Alpena residents Tim Allen and Amy Ward also applied.
The seat was previously held by Keri Johns, who was appointed to serve until the general election in November. Instead of seeking reelection to the partial term, Johns ran for a full four-year term, but was not reelected.
Trustees said they were impressed with all three of the candidates, but Meinhardt had a little more understanding of Michigan school finance.
Trustee Eric Lawson said Meinhardt was “a very strong candidate,” while Trustee Steven Donajkowski said he liked that she had a background in education. Trustee Tom Hilberg said he liked her priority was the kids.
“I think her knowledge of Alpena Public Schools, specifically, is also incredibly broad,” board Vice President Stacey Parr said. “Part of that, obviously, has to do with her volunteer experiences, both in the committee for the bond issue and all that she has done at Besser Elementary. She just has incredible enthusiasm and a broad range of experience, no doubt.”
Meinhardt served on a committee that worked to promote a multimillion-dollar bond sale approved by voters last year to fund renovations throughout the school district.
Meinhardt moved to Alpena in 2006 with plans to start a family and has since become a full-time mom of two children. She has seven years of experience as an elementary school teacher at South Lyon Community Schools.
Meinhardt also volunteered as secretary on the Bingham Arts Academy board, was president of the Besser Elementary Parent Advisory Council, and has volunteered in Besser Elementary School classrooms.
When reaching out to the candidates who were not selected, board President Gordon Snow said he will encourage them to remain engaged and increase their participation with the school district so they have more name recognition.
“There certainly are things that both of them, with children in the district, can do within their own school community and within the greater community to get so their names are a little more recognized,” he said.
Crystal Nelson can be reached at 989-358-5687 or [email protected].
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