Kent School Board members Leslie Hamada, Denise Daniels, Maya Vengadasalam and Michelle Bettinger will select a new member to replace Leah Bowen. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District

Kent School Board members Leslie Hamada, Denise Daniels, Maya Vengadasalam and Michelle Bettinger will select a new member to replace Leah Bowen. COURTESY PHOTO, Kent School District

Kent School Board to select finalists for vacant seat

Executive session set for Jan. 21

The Kent School Board will meet in virtual executive session at 5:30 p.m. Thursday, Jan. 21 and then pick three candidates to interview for the vacant seat on the five-member board.

“This is when the current board members will receive and review the application packets (including names) for the first time,” said Melissa Laramie, district director of communications and public affairs, in a Jan. 19 email.

Laramie declined to reveal to the Kent Reporter the number of applicants or names of the applicants. The application deadline was Jan. 14.

“If there are more than three candidates, the board will select three for interviews,” Laramie said in quoting board procedures. “The interviews will be conducted at an open meeting of the board. Discussion by the board of the candidates’ qualifications may be done in executive session.”

The board will interview candidates and select a replacement during a special meeting at 5:30 p.m. on Thursday, Jan. 28. The selected candidate will be sworn in during the regular meeting at 7 p.m. on Feb. 10.

The successful candidate, who must live in District 1, will be appointed by the board to serve until the next regularly scheduled school board election in November 2021. District 1 is roughly between Orillia Road and 116th Avenue Southeast (west to east) and from South/SE 192nd Street to South 240th Street (north to south).

Leah Bowen resigned from the board in December. Bowen served one year as the District 1 director. Bowen, the mother of three children, said it wasn’t an easy decision to resign but she must put her family first. Voters elected Bowen in November 2019 to a four-year term when she ran unopposed.

Requirements for board members include: the applicant must be a United States citizen, at least 18 years of age, a Kent School District 1 community member for at least one year, a registered voter and not hold another incompatible public office position. It is not a paid position.

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