Coupeville schools eye at-large board spots

To generate more interest in school board positions, Coupeville school officials are looking at changing the way its board is represented.

Leaders are considering switching two of the school board seats to at-large positions, where anybody living within the school district boundaries can run for election.

Currently, each person of the five-member board represents a specific part of the school district. This policy has caused some problems finding people to fill the seats, or, as in the case four years ago, too many people competing for one seat. Back then, four people vied for the seat currently filled by Cindy Van Dyk.

Board member Don Sherman said the school district has had occasions where people expressed an interest in serving on the board but that they were in a district with a sitting board member. He said changing to two at-large positions and three representing specific areas will expand the number of people who’d be interested in running for election.

Superintendent of Schools Patty Page will meet with the Education Service District officials to research the costs of changing the school board positions.

Ultimately it will be up to the voters to decide on the change. The earliest such a vote could take place would be 2010, which is when the school district will run a renewal election for its levy, Page said. That would also take place in time for the next census, which would help redistricting school director boundaries.

While officials are examining changing the school board, the 2009 election moves forward.

Three seats on the Coupeville School District board of directors are up for election this year.

Van Dyk said she won’t seek a second term. She was elected four years ago.

Board member Chris Chan, who was appointed in October 2008 to fill the remaining term of Deborah Turner, said he will seek a full term this fall.

“I’m kind of excited about it,” Chan said. It’s been a real learning experience.”

Long-serving member Kathleen Anderson said she, too, will also seek another term.

Anderson has 16 years of experience serving on the Coupeville School Board and 15 years serving on the State Board of Education.

“I think I still have a lot to give,” Anderson said.

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