A father of three who works as a manager at Hanford has been appointed to the Pasco School Board.
Scott Lehrman, who applied for the board vacancy, was one of four people interviewed by the board Tuesday.
The board met in a closed-door session before voting to appoint Lehrman. He will be sworn in Nov. 12.
Lehrman, a test manager for the Hanford Waste Treatment Plant, said he’s happy with his children’s education in Pasco schools and is excited “to be part of a team that’s dedicated to giving other children that same quality education.”
Board members were seeking to replace Ruben Peralta, who resigned from the board in September for personal reasons.
About a dozen people, most of them district officials, attended the public interviews. Superintendent Saundra Hill asked most of the questions on behalf of the board.
Lehrman was raised in Vancouver, Wash., but moved to the Tri-Cities in 2002. His wife is a former Pasco and Kennewick teacher. They have three children, two in grade school. He applied in the spring for the position now belonging to Darrell Toombs Jr., who replaced resigned board member Jeffrey Dong this spring.
“Scott was thoughtful and thorough and had obviously done his homework since his last interview,” said board President Sherry Lancon in a news release. “We continue to be impressed with members of our community who are willing to step forward to support Pasco students. As always, this was a difficult decision.”
Lehrman said his vision for the district is to ensure every student has the same opportunities to succeed. He said he’s been researching the roles of school boards and that his ability to quickly and effectively study issues, strength as a listener and passion for children makes him ideal for the post.
He said that while he may not always vote with the rest of the board, he would support board decisions. Budgets would get his careful review, particularly understanding where district revenues come from and the limitations on how the money can used.
The district succeeded in passing the $46.8 million bond in February that will build three new elementary schools. He’s also glad the district is pushing science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM, education, though he would like to see more extracurricular options at the elementary schools.
However, his focus as a board member will be to do what is best for students and listening to the public.
“I always seek to understand and keep my ears open,” he said.
The other three candidates were women. Kris Kennedy is a former special education teacher working to establish a foundation for people with special needs. Emily Mallory is the daughter of an immigrant and chemist at Dade Moeller in Richland. Avigail Sanchez has lived in the state for 10 years and worked in the public sector and owns her own business.
Lehrman will serve out the reminder of Peralta’s term, which expires at the end of 2015.
w Ty Beaver: 509-582-1402; email@example.com; Twitter: @_tybeaver