The longest-serving member of the St. Tammany Parish School Board, James “Ronnie” Panks, died Wednesday, School Board spokeswoman Meredith Mendez said. He was 69.

Panks was appointed to the board in 1994 to fill a vacancy. He served for more than 20 years, winning re-election again in the fall when no one else qualified. He represented District 12 in the Slidell area.

Panks was a graduate of Slidell High School and a lifelong resident of St. Tammany.

“Mr. Panks valued public education and dedicated his time on the School Board to ensuring the best education possible for the students of St. Tammany Parish,” said School Board President Stephen J. “Jack” Loup III, who described him as a “true friend.”

Funeral arrangements are pending.

Panks is the second long-serving member of the School Board to die in recent months. http://www.nola.com/education/index.ssf/2014/09/st_tammany_parish_school_board_43.htmltp://">Ray Alfred, who represented District 14 for 24 years, died in September at 60. His father, Anthony Alfred, was http://www.theneworleansadvocate.com/news/applatestnews/10434169-171/st-tammany-school-board-appoints://">appointed to represent the district until March.