GREENCASTLE -- In a unanimous vote Tuesday afternoon, the Greencastle Community School Board chose Todd Sutherlin to replace Jack Berry as the board's fifth member.
The 1987 Greencastle High School graduate was chosen from among five candidates to serve the remainder of Berry's term, which expires on June 30. Berry had to vacate his position when he moved out of Greencastle Township.
"We thought we had five strong candidates," board president Bruce Stinebrickner said prior to the board's vote. "We're in a great situation that we think we can pick a good board member from these five."
Other candidates for the opening included Wayne Lewis, Wesley Sampson, Doris Miller and Sarah Ryan.
"I really appreciate all the time people put into this because we asked some tough questions," board member Monica Fennell said.
Sutherlin expressed his excitement at being able to serve the community and school system.
"I'm excited to be able to give back to the community and the school corporation and be able to continue to help Greencastle Community Schools continue to grow," Sutherlin said.
At the end of Sutherlin's term, a board member will be chosen by Greencastle Township trustee Steve Butts. Butts can choose to reappoint Sutherlin or choose a different candidate.
Sutherlin is a lifetime resident of Greencastle and has three children currently in the school system. He and his wife Jodi have four children, daughter Alex, a GHS freshman; sons Carl, a GMS eighth grader; son Nick, a second grader at Ridpath; and son Nathan, 3 years old.
He said he has no particular issues he wishes to immediately address as a board member; Sutherlin said he simply hopes to learn more about his new post in order to make a positive contribution.
"I want to get familiar with the responsibilities of the board and become more familiar with everything that goes on in the board meetings and everything we're going to be responsible for and go from there," Sutherlin said.
One of the few remaining appointed school boards in the state, the GCSC board is normally appointed by publicly-elected officials from the town and townships served.
The positions of Sutherlin and Kelly Lewis are appointed by the Greencastle Township trustee. Mike Dean is an appointment of the Madison Township trustee. Bruce Stinebrickner and Monica Fennell were appointed by the Greencastle Common Council.
"I'd just like to thank the board for their confidence in me," Sutherlin said. "Hopefully I can be an asset and get up to speed quick and be able to help out."