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Eagan's Huusko will fill school board vacancy

Gary Huusko.

After seven interviews Thursday night it took just one ballot for the District 196 School Board to choose a replacement for departed board member Kevin Sampers.

Board members voted to name Eagan resident Gary Huusko to take over for Sampers, who left because of time commitments associated with starting a new business. He will attend his first meeting in November.

Huusko has been a practicing attorney for the past 28 years, the last 13 as a patent attorney. He has been a member of the district's budget advisory council since 2004 and its co-chair since 2010. He served on the district's strategic planning commission this year and has been chair of the District 196 Foundation since 2008.

Huusko said he'd considered running for the board but didn't want to replace any of the current board members.

"I always support the district," Huusko said.

Board chair Jackie Magnuson said she was impressed with all of the candidates who applied for the open seat. All have been active in the district.

"I think the common quality was wanting to make a good school district better, wanting to keep working with the district," Magnuson said.

Magnuson said it was Huusko's experience with the district's budget that helped put him over the top.

Huusko isn't wasting any time getting involved. He will serve as a delegate at the Minnesota School Boards Association assembly the first weekend of December.