ELKO — School board aspirants are invited to get a taste of what it takes to sit on the school board on Friday with morning and evening workshops.
The Elko County School District received 16 letters of interest and resumes starting Thursday to fill five vacancies for Districts 1, 2, 3, 5 and 6.
Applications are accepted by email or can be dropped off at the central office. Interviews are due to begin Aug. 31, one day after classes begin across the district.
Nominations to fill the five vacant positions will begin on September 7.
“Our plan is to schedule interviews potentially starting next Tuesday,” Dastrup said. “We have a large pool of candidates. It may take us several meetings.
“These guidelines under the state of emergency are considered law and if we are going to expand this beyond our school board, we need to have a nice long visit with our governor and go from there.”
Directors Jim Cooney, Luc Gerber, Robert Leonhardt, Candace Wines and Brian Zeiszler resigned between August 12 and 18. In each resignation letter or email obtained by Elko Daily Free Press, former directors did not provide a reason for leaving the board.
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Leonhardt attempted to rescind his resignation. However, according to state law and court case law, a vacancy is created in the elected position upon resignation and the official cannot withdraw the letters.
According to administrator Teresa Dastrup, a morning and evening training workshop scheduled for Friday at the central office is offered by the Nevada School Boards Association for nominees to learn “the function of the board of trustees.”
“As we move forward as a board, we believe it is important that not only board members, but also the public, have a better understanding of the purpose of the school board and our relationship with the superintendent, and of our role in the running of schools in general,” Dastrup said. “So this training will provide a lot of that information.”
“The district would feel better represented if there were more than two board members appointing a superintendent.” – Trustee Teresa Dastrup
The recent resignations, along with the departure of Superintendent Dr. Michele Robinson and the resignation of Deputy Mike Smith as Acting Superintendent, have been amid criticism from the public and action groups regarding policies to mitigate the Covid-19.
Dastrup said fear might keep potential candidates from seeking a board nomination, but she thinks it might be a good time to unify the community after it’s been divided for so long.
“Realize that our community is ready to come together and figure this out,” she said. “We are happy to have your applications and CVs, and we look forward to these interviews.”
In-person trainings are scheduled for 9-11 a.m. and 5:30-7:30 p.m. on August 27 at the central office, 850 Elm St.
For those unable to attend the trainings, click the link to join at 9 a.m. or 5:30 p.m. on August 27 on Zoom.