Help wanted: School district seeking Kenai board member

Posted: Wednesday, October 19, 2005

The Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education has one remaining seat to fill, as no one has applied to represent the Kenai area.

The board was able to move one step closer to filling its open positions Monday night with the selection of Elizabeth Downing for the District 8 seat, representing Homer.

A decision was made to extend the deadline for filling for the District 2 Kenai seat until noon Monday.

The District 2 and 8 seats came open earlier this month when Margaret Gilman of Kenai and Deb Germano of Homer were elected to the Kenai Peninsula Borough Assembly.

Three school board members who were re-elected — Dr. Nels Anderson, Debbie Brown and Debra Mullins — were sworn into office during the board's regular meeting last Monday.

Following Downing's selection, she also took the oath of office.

The board needed two tries to select Downing over another candidate, Bill Smith, former chair of the Homer Planning Commission.

Four votes are necessary for a candidate to win a seat. When ballots were cast the first time, Downing received three and Smith got two.

The revote gave Downing the four needed ballots, with Smith getting just one.

Downing, who has a bachelor's degree in leisure services from the University of Maryland and a master's in student services in higher education from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, is a student and enrollment services coordinator for the school district, where she has worked for 19 years.

She also teaches a college leadership course at the Kachemak Bay campus of Kenai Peninsula College.

Applicants for the Kenai seat will be interviewed at noon Oct. 26, and the successful applicant will be seated at a special board meeting at 1 p.m. that day.

Applications are available on the school district Web site,, or at the school district office at 148 N. Binkley St. in Soldotna.

Board members present at Monday's meeting also elected new officers. Debra Mullins was elected president; Sammy Crawford, vice president; Sandy Wassilie, clerk; and Marty Anderson, treasurer.

Board members Marty Anderson and Sunni Hilts were absent from the meeting, and Debbie Brown asked that board officers not be elected until all were in attendance.

Brown's motion failed, however, because no one would second it. Brown voted against the election of Crawford and Anderson.

Mullins and Wassilie were elected unanimously.

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