Newest Board Member Joins in Latest Hot Topic Issue

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Rockford's School Board is again whole. Tuesday night, 29-year-old Christina Ostergard is sworn in, and wastes little time sparking a divided discussion.

The debate is whether the school board should set limits on how often members can do meetings by phone, and not in person.

The district's newest member, and most of the board, chimed in.

Christina Ostergard replaces Karol Hammond, who resigned on Sept. 2. The Indiana native was chosen out of a pool of eight applicants. The call-in issue has heightened in recent months with member Alice Saudargas out with health issues, and doing most meetings by phone. Board member Jay Nellis wants a limit of only two call-ins a year.

Ostergard said at least four call-ins, or one per quarter,would be logical. The issue could be voted on at the next board meeting. Meanwhile, the board's newest member isn't surprised by the healthy debate.

"Hopefully it will be very low key and we'll come to an agreement that everyone's happy with and it will just drop because I think it's less focused on education and more focused on schedules," Ostergard said.

Though she's officially sworn in on Rockford’s School Board, Ostergard says she's unsure if she'll run again when her term expires in 2007.