The Prosser School Board is seeking a replacement for Bill Jenkin, who resigned from his position after winning election to the state Legislature.
Voters picked the Prosser businessman to replace Maureen Walsh in the state House of Representatives, after Walsh left her position to run for state Senate.
His duties in the Legislature would take him away from the school board for months at a time, he said.
“It’s a critical time with the school bond election coming due and negotiations going on,” he said. “During the 105-day session, I wouldn’t be able to be at a board meeting; that’s not fair to the community.”
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Jenkin was elected to the position three years ago, and was appointed to two consecutive terms as the board president.
“You sort of feel guilty leaving, but you really can’t because you know that you’re going to be serving more people,” he said.
Bill Jenkin wants to secure a spot on the House’s education committee.
He is proud of the board’s and community’s work putting together a $69.3 million bond proposal. If it passes in February, the money will go toward replacing Prosser High School and renovate three elementary schools.
Peggy Douglas replaced Jenkin as school board president. She said that he will be missed on the board, but having him in Olympia will be good for the state and the area.
Jenkin wants to secure a spot on the House’s education committee.
The search for Jenkin’s replacement began last week. The district is accepting applications until Dec. 23. The applications can either come from the candidate or from a community member. Candidates are required to live within District 3, be a registered voter and a U.S. citizen.
District 3 starts south of Prosser’s city limits and stretches to the Oregon border.
Superintendent Ray Tolcacher will review the nominees, ensure they meet the requirements and provide them with information about the position.
Nominees are asked to provide a biography and a statement about why they want the position. The information will be provided to school board members, who will interview candidates on Jan. 5.
An appointment is expected on Jan. 10. The candidate will serve the remaining year of Jenkin’s term before needing to seek election to the position.
During the 105-day session, I wouldn’t be able to be at a board meeting; that’s not fair to the community.
Bill Jenkin, former school board president, now legislator
The new board member is going to face several challenges during the next couple of years, including the search for a new superintendent.
“Ray is very well respected in the community,” Jenkin said. “He’s really served our district well.”
Douglas wants someone interested in the schools and the educational process in the position, she said.
“(I want) someone who is invested in kids and invested in moving the district forward,” she said. “We’re probably going to have more meetings than we would normally have. We have a lot of really good things happening.”