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  • Writer's pictureWCMP

Sauter Appointed to Pine City School Board

Lezlie Sauter has been appointed to the Pine City School Board during a special meeting held on Monday, December 6.

The vote follows the resignation of board chair Wendy Liebel, who announced she was leaving in November.

Sauter has worked behind the scenes in the public sector for many years. She has worked for the Lakes and Pines Community Action Council, worked for the City of Pine City as the Community Development Director and Administrator, and currently works as the Economic Development Coordinator for Pine County.

However, she told WCMP that the school board has always intrigued her.

"Education is a pathway out of whatever situation they might be in that isn't a good one," Sauter said. "I feel that being involved in local government and local policies is a great way for a community action professional to make a difference and improve the conditions of the community."

Sauter said she found running for public office intimidating, so a one-year appointed position would be a great way to see if she'd be a good fit for the role before putting her name on a ballot.

Boardmember Candice Ames noted her years of work as a major factor for her nomination.

"I nominated Lezlie Sauter because she has a track record of success locally at the city level and is now pursuing similar activities for the county," Ames said. "She has a background and expertise in citizen planning, and I feel that the connection between city government, county government, and the school district is much needed."

Lezlie Sauter says she doesn't have a personal agenda coming into her position on the school board, but professionally, she would like to see students be better equipped to enter the workforce and keep them here in the community. She also hopes to see a more robust inclusion and diversity training included within the district and community.

It took two rounds of voting, with in-depth conversations about each candidate between voting, before the board made a final decision.

Sauter was one of five people nominated for the position by school board members.

Dan Peterson encouraged those who applied for the position to run for the school board this coming fall.

"I hope the rest of you consider running next fall because we need to have successful board members carrying on from here."

Sauter's first board meeting will be on January 10, 2022.

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