Gov. Sarah Palin has appointed a substitute teacher to serve on the board of the Alaska Railroad.

The state-owned railroad corporation has the authority to issue tax-exempt bonds for its own projects, in addition to so-far-unused authority to issue private-activity bonds for other organizations.

Palin appointed Steve Menard of Wasilla to the board to finish the remaining months of the term of his father, Wasilla Mayor Curt Menard, who died March 3.

Menard has been a substitute teacher in Matanuska-Susitna schools since 2003 and served on the Wasilla City Council from 2005 to 2008.

He also served as a special assistant to the state commissioner of labor in 2007 and 2008 and to Gov. Palin from 2006 to 2007. He has also worked as a commercial fisherman and a legislative aide.

Palin also reappointed board chairman John Binkley of Fairbanks to the board. Binkley, a former state lawmaker, has served on the railroad board since 1995.

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