David Swenson
David Swenson
A member of the Mabel-Canton School Board participated in his final school board meeting on Tuesday, Oct. 15, as the board accepted his resignation.

David Swenson of rural Mabel has been serving on the Mabel-Canton School Board since 2002. Swenson has held various offices on the board during that time, including the position of chairman.

Swenson said he was initially prompted to run for the school board when questions were being asked surrounding the construction of the current facility over a decade ago. "The honest truth is we went to some meetings back before they built the new school, (people) were asking some questions...didn't seem to get some of the answers the community wanted...and that drove me to get involved and see if I could make a difference," he explained.

Swenson feels he was a beneficial board member and has been proud of the efforts made during his time on the board to stabilize finances for the school district. He also has enjoyed being a person who listened to the community and did what was best for the school.

"I have had the pleasure of working with a couple of really good superintendents in the past...they've really done good for us financially and we are in a good place," he said.

He said Mabel-Canton has remained a strong and solid school while moving forward and giving the local children the best education they can. "Which is tough in a small district," he added.

"When I ran the last time and got elected to a four-year term, I really did not plan on finishing it," Swenson said.

He explained that he believes it is time for residents with children in the school to step up and get involved. "I believe those decisions should be made by those who have kids in school...it's time for that next generation that (has) kids there to decide what they want their kids to do."

Finding a replacement

School District Superintendent Jennifer Backer told the board that since Swenson's remaining term is less than two years, the board can appoint a person to fill the vacancy without a special election.

"They do need to file between this meeting and the board's next meeting (on Nov. 19)," she said. There is a small filing fee of $2."

The board members did mention a few candidates they thought would be interested in filling the position. Among them included Jeff Rein, Russell Larson and Nate Halverson.

Boards members decided unanimously not to officially post the open position but instead have interested parties come to the next meeting on Nov. 19 and allow each interested person to speak. The board will then approve the filling of the vacant position during the Nov. 19 meeting.

"I'd just want to thank everybody - it's been a pleasure, it's been fun," Swenson said after the board approved his resignation. "It's been a learning experience...but I guess it's time for a new generation with new ideas (to take over)."