She had the support of fellow board members Chris Grant and Jeff Bowser, with trustee Valerie Arkin voting for Jamie Hintzke, who also voted for herself.
Arkin, who has been the board's president for the last 12 months, nominated Hintzke to succeed her.
Bowser was elected clerk of the board, a position that normally leads to being chosen president the following year. Hintzke has been clerk for the last year with her term ending at the board's annual reorganization meeting Tuesday.
"It was pretty uncomfortable, but we got through," Laursen said.
Bowser said his reason for backing Laursen was to avoid having Hintzke serve as president while she runs for another term on the board in next November's municipal and school board elections if she chooses to seek to run again. There are no term limits for those serving on the school board.
Hintzke has not held the presidency since she was elected because Grant opted to serve two consecutive terms as president, which he was eligible to do. He was reelected president for two terms, also in a 3-2 vote by board members.
"I'm really unhappy that I did not get the chance to be board president during my four-year term," Hintzke said.
Laursen said she had a lot of people encourage her to be named president for the coming year.
"We really have a lot of critical work to do this year," she said. "The board president has the chance to set the tone for the year. That's something I really think I can do."