Robbinsdale School Board Appoints ReNae Bowman Chair
The Robbinsdale Area School Board has selected a former mayor of Crystal as its new chair this week.
ReNae Bowman was named Robbinsdale School Board chair on Monday.
Bowman was mayor of Crystal from 2005-2012. She began her term on the Robbinsdale board in January 2023.
“New leadership is needed to shift the board into action,” Bowman said. “We seem lately to be sort of floundering and stuck.”
Robbinsdale Area School Board member Sharon Brooks was also nominated as chair. Bowman defeated Brooks in a split 5-2 vote.
She replaces Robbinsdale Area School Board member Helen Bassett as chair. Bassett became chair in August, when the governing body stripped the position away from Robbinsdale Area School Board member Greta Evans-Becker.
Board Searching for Superintendent, Working with Mediator
The decision comes as the board is preparing to work with a mediator to improve relationships between board members.
Robbinsdale Area School Board member Kim Holmes spoke in favor of Bowman as the next chair. She said she disagreed with the way past chairs had conducted themselves while in the leadership position.
“Unfortunately, over the past year, I have witnessed certain board members portray themselves one way at this table while on camera, and in a completely unpredictable, unprofessional manner off camera,” Holmes said. “Having worked with two different individuals in the chair role over the past 12 months … I will say both individuals in my experiences misunderstood the role of chair and lacked the ability to correct course.”
Bassett spoke in favor of electing Brooks as chair. She said Brooks has the temperament to lead the board.
“Every school district, people I know have who serve in school districts have challenges,” Bassett said. “They’re not going to be fixed by flowery phrases. They’re going to be fixed by people who are willing to push up their sleeves, who are willing to see all of the children, who don’t have a personal private agenda, and who will do the work.”
Meanwhile, the board is looking to hire a new superintendent to replace David Engstrom, who split ways with the district in September.