Washington County School Distict appoints Ralph Brooks as interim school board member

Washington County School Board office, St. George, Utah, undated | St George News

ST. GEORGE – The Washington County School District Board of Education named Ralph Brooks as an interim member of the board Friday. Brooks will fill a seat vacated by Barbara Beckstrom, who died March 8.

Beckstrom was elected to the school board in 2012 to represent Washington County School District 1 in western Washington County.

“(We had) very excellent candidates, very well-qualified candidates, you know, a high caliber of people,” school board president Laura Hesson said. “We just felt like Ralph had the background that he could jump into the position more quickly.”

The school board interviewed seven candidates at a special meeting Friday, giving each candidate three minutes to talk about themselves and three minutes to answer a question about what specific details in their background led them to believe they would be an effective school board member.  The candidates were notified of the board’s decision by phone Friday night.

Brooks will serve through Dec. 31, at which point the new board member — who will be elected in the November 2016 election — will take over the position, Hesson said.

Brooks was born in St. George and is the father of nine children, 37 grandchildren and some great-grandchildren as well, he told the school board during his interview.

He has been around students all of his life, he said, either raising his own children or working with youth in various capacities.

Brooks served as a high school principal for three years and a junior high school principal for seven years, experiences which he said have kept him young.

“(It was) probably one of the greatest experiences I ever had,” Brooks said.

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