School board to appoint Laura Rich replacement | January 22, 2014 | Almanac | Almanac Online |

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Schools - January 22, 2014

School board to appoint Laura Rich replacement

by Renee Batti

Residents of the Menlo Park City School District interested in serving an eight-month term on the school board have until Feb. 7 to apply for appointment to the seat left vacant by the resignation last week of longtime member Laura Linkletter Rich.

The school board voted on Jan. 14 to appoint a member to serve out the term, which ends in December, rather than call for a special election. Ms. Rich recused herself from the discussion and the vote.

Before making their decision, board members considered the cost of an election — about $32,000 if held in June — and the fact that a person elected at that time wouldn't take office until August.

Elected to the board in 1998, Ms. Rich is the longest-serving trustee in the district's history, according to district records. She announced her resignation last week, citing increasing family commitments that required her to be out of town frequently.

The Jan. 14 meeting was her last — her resignation was effective at midnight that day. But before she stepped down, a stream of current and former board colleagues praised her for both her 15 years of service and the energy and spirit she brought to the work of district leadership.

Former state senator and current Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian also stepped to the podium to recognize her work in the district and as the district's representative on the California School Boards Association, which addresses statewide issues involving education.

To apply

The district will accept applications, in the form of a candidate statement of no more than 400 words and a statement providing information concerning residency and age, until 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7. Applications must be submitted to the district office at 181 Encinal Ave. in Atherton in hard copy and with an original signature.

The candidate statement should include a statement of purpose and description of qualifications, and any other relevant information, according to the district.

To be eligible for the position, a candidate must be 18 or older, a U.S. citizen, a resident of the district, and a registered voter.

A candidate information night is scheduled for 7 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 29, in the district office TERC building.

The board will interview candidates at a special meeting set for Monday, Feb. 10, and is expected to make the appointment after the interviews and a discussion; the public may comment prior to the vote.

If a candidate is unable to attend the meeting to be interviewed, he or she may participate through a conference phone call.

The appointee will be sworn into office at the board's regular meeting on March 11.

For more information, call the district office at 321-7140.

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