For the first time since long time Board Member Gail Morrison resigned in June, the Burnsville-Eagan-Savage School District has a full-fledged board.
After several rounds of voting, the board narrowed the field of down to four, then three then one: Thursday night, Robert VandenBoom was selected by the board to fill a vacant position.
"It was humbling to be chosen from a group of people who are so qualified. It makes me feel really good," VandenBoom said. "I was very surprised."
Those who made the initial cut were VandenBoom, Sheryl Burkhardt, Seema Pothini, and Clynt Reddy. The board then went through another round of voting to determine the top three: Reddy, Burkhardt, and VandenBoom.
By 6:44 the Board was taking a final vote. Each could select just one person. The finalist would be chosen by a simple majority vote — four out six members.
The last one standing was VandenBoom, who is employed as the senior marketing manager for the Toro Company.
VandenBoom is an Eagan resident. He has lengthy experience in corporate America. Previously he worked as the worldwide director of marketing for Check Technology Corporation/Delphax Technologies. He has also owned his own business — a consulting company he headed from 1998 to 2000.
He was educated at University of Minnesota, where he earned both a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering and a Master's of Business Administration from the Carlson School of Management.
Two of VandenBoom's children have already graduated from Burnsville Senior High. Both were able to get large college scholarships upon graduation, he said. His youngest will start tenth grade at BHS this fall. VandenBoom said he wanted to give back to a district that has done well by his children.
In his application to the board, VandenBoom cited "declining enrollment and increasing competition, parent and community involvement, diversity in schools and community" as ISD 191's most pressing concerns.
But for now, VandenBoom is just focusing on the task ahead.
"It feels good. It's going to be tough to fill Gail's shoes," VandenBoom said. "I'm anxious to get to work."