Kennewick School Board to interview candidates

KENNEWICK -- The Kennewick School Board will hold a special meeting tonight to interview potential replacements for the seat vacated by board member Wendy London last month.

London, who had served on the school board since 2007, resigned her position effective July 20. She now is the new director of curriculum and instruction in the Seattle School District.

Six people applied to take over position 5 on the board until a new member is elected in November.

The school board will interview candidates in public session from 5 p.m. to about 8:30 p.m. at the administration building at 1000 W. Fourth Ave.

It will then go into closed session to discuss the candidates' qualifications.

Following the closed session the board will vote on the appointment in public. The new member will be sworn in during Wednesday's regular board meeting, said board member Kathy White.

Some of the six people who have applied for the temporary appointment already are candidates in the November election.

The applicants will be interviewed in this order:

* Michele Morgan is a teacher in the Richland School District and has children attending schools in Kennewick.

* Jan Fraley is a retired school counselor and the former president of Kennewick's teachers union and of the regional council of the state teachers union.

* Brian Brooks is a physical therapist with two children in Kennewick schools and two who graduated from Kennewick schools. He also is running for position 5 in the November election.

* Colleen Freshley is a parent of former Kennewick students, who was an active supporter of music programs in the district for years.

* Benjamin Messinger is a financial planner and the husband of a former Kennewick teacher. He also is running for position 3 in the November election.

* Uby Creek is a former Kennewick teacher who now works for the Educational Service District 123. She has twice before run for the school board and is running for position 5 in the November election.

The school board may find itself appointing another member in November.

London declared her candidacy for position 4 in the upcoming election before she was hired for the Seattle job.

Since she withdrew after the deadline, London will appear on the November ballot. Should London win -- in absentia, so to speak -- she would have to resign and a new board member would be appointed, election officials have said.