School Board taking shape after change in three seats

Posted: Wednesday, October 16, 2002

Along with the routine post-election tasks of electing new officers and swearing in new board members, the Juneau School Board made plans Tuesday night to fill a seat vacated by member Stan Ridgeway, who was elected to the Juneau Assembly.

The board will advertise this week for applicants interested in serving on the panel until the next election. Applicants should submit a letter of interest to Superintendent Gary Bader's office. The board's executive committee will review the applications and make a recommendation.

The full board will approve the new member by a majority vote, which tentatively has been set for the panel's Nov. 5 meeting.

District policy does not give specific guidelines for how applicants will be selected, the board's Chuck Cohen said. The panel may ask that applicants fill out a questionnaire, but board members decided that was not necessary.

"There are no established criteria other than a person be qualified to serve," Cohen said, meaning the applicant, like a candidate running for School Board, must be 18 and a Juneau resident registered to vote.

In the past, the board has appointed former members, citing their experience. Ridgeway has recommended Julie Morris, a state office worker who had the third-highest vote count in the recent School Board election, be appointed. So far, Morris is the only person to formally express interest in the position by writing a letter to board members.

Cohen said members of the public are welcome to make their preferences known.

"We want to make it timely and have the matter decided at the Nov. 5 meeting," Cohen said. "If people feel strongly and wish to speak to the issue, there will certainly be an opportunity. They also can contact board members."

Also at the meeting, Juneau District Court Judge Peter Froehlich swore in recently elected board members Bob Van Slyke, 72, and Carl Brodersen, 18.

"I think it speaks well for our community that we have both the oldest and youngest members (being sworn in today)," Froehlich said.

The board also held elections for a new executive committee. Board Vice President Chuck Cohen was elected president, replacing two-year board leader Mary Becker. Becker was elected clerk and Alan Schorr was elected vice president.

Julia O'Malley can be reached at

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