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Indiana school board elects teacher as vice chairwoman

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) – A central Indiana elementary school teacher has been elected as vice chairwoman of the State Board of Education, a new position that shares authority with Democratic state schools Superintendent Glenda Ritz.

Ritz joined other board members Wednesday in unanimously selecting Sarah O’Brien for the position.

Ritz remains the board’s automatic chairwoman despite Republican Gov. Mike Pence’s push during this year’s legislative session to change the law so the board could elect any member as its leader. Lawmakers approved making that change effective after the 2016 state superintendent election and created the vice chair position that has joint responsibility with Ritz for the panel’s agenda.

O’Brien is a fourth-grade teacher in Avon and the daughter of Republican state Rep. Bill Fine of Munster. Pence appointed her to the board.