Steamboat school board to interview 4 candidates for vacant seat next week |

Steamboat school board to interview 4 candidates for vacant seat next week

The Steamboat Springs Board of Education intends to fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Kelly Latterman before the end of the school year.
Dylan Anderson/Steamboat Pilot & Today

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to correct the spelling of candidate Lisa Ruff’s name.

The Steamboat Springs School Board will interview four candidates for the seat vacated by former board member Kelly Latterman at 4:30 p.m. on Monday, May 9.

Candidates who completed applications for the open seat are Alissa Merage, Ken Mauldin, Lisa Ruff and Pete Wood. Each will be interviewed publicly next week.

“I know it can be uncomfortable for the candidate and the board to have to do that in public,” said School Board President Katy Lee. “We’re interviewing people for a very specific position and it doesn’t reflect on their abilities in any other way.”

The board is using established procedures to fill the vacant board seat. Whoever is appointed to the board would serve out the remainder of Latterman’s term, which ends in November 2023.

The public interviews will last about 15 minutes for each candidate and the board is limited to asking them the same questions — those outlined in the application for the board, and additional questions the board agreed to ask on Monday, May 2.

After some wordsmithing to keep questions concise but focused on issues they thought were important, the board opted to ask two additional questions: How would you advocate for all students, and how can a school board know if its goals are being accomplished?

“I think that’s all we have time for,” Lee said.

After interviews, the board will then discuss the candidates in an open session. Lee said in the past they have each ranked candidates and then the board’s administrative assistant Deb Ginesta would tally those and tell the board which two candidates were ranked highest. The board would then discuss the merits of those two candidates.

This procedure is very similar with how the Hayden School Board filled it’s own vacancy in March.

At any point during the discussion, a board member can move to appoint a candidate to the board. If that motion were seconded, the four board members would then vote. If the motion fails or is tied, discussion would resume until there is another motion to appoint a candidate.

Even if a candidate is motioned for and that motion fails, Lee said they could still be considered. Three or more votes in favor of a candidate would appoint them to the board, after which Lee said she would call candidates and inform them of the decision.

“Then we will schedule swearing in at some point prior to our next meeting, or at our next meeting,” Lee said.

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