Cottonwood-Oak Creek board president, vice president trade places

JoAnne Cook now board president as Jason Finger becomes vice president

JoAnne Cook is now board president as Jason Finger becomes vice president. (Photos by Bill Helm)

JoAnne Cook is now board president as Jason Finger becomes vice president. (Photos by Bill Helm)

COTTONWOOD – Smart. Asks great questions. Knows what to look for. Has vision. Sees the bigger picture.

That’s how Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District Superintendent Steve King sees JoAnne Cook, who Tuesday was named president of the district’s governing board.

Cook, who replaces Jason Finger, has been the board’s vice president until the board’s 3-to-1 vote.

Only Cook, who voted for Finger to remain president, voted against herself.

“I am extremely humbled and honored to serve in my new role as president,” Cook said. “Our board’s number one priority and focus is students and making decisions that are in their best interest. We are so thankful to our community and their support, awareness, and engagement as we all team together to enrich the lives of all students.”

Finger, who has been the board’s president the past five years, was then named the board’s vice president as he plans to finish out his term in 2018 and not seek reelection.

“That’s my plan right now,” Finger said. “Anything could change. But for the past year, that’s been my plan.”

With four children, Finger said it’s time for him to spend more time at home and less time in meeting rooms. In fact, Finger didn’t actually seek election when he joined the board 12 years ago.

“I had never considered it until someone asked me if I’d be willing to serve,” Finger said. “One of the reasons they considered me was my personality. I’m not afraid to speak up, to be able to articulate things well.”

As he slowly moves away from the Cottonwood-Oak Creek school board, Finger said that Cook is the “right person” to take charge in 2018 and beyond.

“She’s got a voice, her points are well-thought out,” Finger said. “She’s very capable of leading this board.”

Though the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School Board typically meets the first Tuesday of each month, Cook’s first meeting as board president will be Jan. 11.

Cook has been on the Cottonwood-Oak Creek school board since 2012, since January she had been the board’s vice president.

-- Follow Bill Helm on Twitter @BillHelm42


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