Kate Taylor joined the Challis school board Oct. 31 after an hour of discussion between the board, Taylor and two other candidates and a coin toss.

Melvin Lanier and Doug Maestas also applied for the position representing Zone 4.

Board members welcomed Taylor after a split decision resulted in a coin toss between her and Lanier to be appointed to the board. She replaces Terri Stillwaugh who resigned from the school board. Taylor brings 18 years of experience on the hospital district board and said she has the time available to be an active board member.

“I think I bring a strong history of working with a public entity,” said Taylor. “I have a personal passion for this type of work.”

Board member Trish Farr asked Taylor what financial experience working on the hospital board gave her, and Taylor said when she joined the board they were “broke and I spent five years getting the hospital district to break-even operations.”

When asked by board Chairman Brett Plummer why school boards are necessary, Taylor said they tie community values with educational values. Plummer pressed the candidates further by asking why it’s important school board members be volunteers. Taylor replied its weeds out the people who really want to be there.

Board member Jim Chamberlain asked the candidates what the most important role of the school board is in terms of day-to-day operations, and Taylor said it’s setting standards and guidelines for the administrators so they can do their job without the board becoming too involved.

Taylor said one of the biggest problems facing the district is the lack of teachers working in Challis schools. She suggested a way to alleviate that is to integrate more technology into the district’s curriculum. She said it would still provide students with an education and reduce the need for certified teachers by hiring IT professionals and other non-certified employees.