The Ketchikan School Board voted unanimously Wednesday to appoint a former Board member to fill a vacant seat until the upcoming local election.
Michelle O’Brien served seven years on the School Board, several as the Board president, before resigning last year. She told the Board Wednesday that her prior experience and lack of interest in running for election make her an ideal temporary appointee.
“I’m almost your most bland candidate tonight, right?” she said. “I’ve got the experience, I know what’s going on, and I’ll tell you right now – I will not change my mind – I do not plan on running for School Board this year.”
The School Board apparently agreed that O’Brien was the right candidate. In the first round of anonymous ballots, where the sitting members ranked their preferred applicants, O’Brien received at least four top rankings.
Before the vote, the board interviewed four of six applicants. The other three were Angela Nickich, Bill Blankenship and Jamie King.
Two applicants, David Timmerman and Deja Kolean, did not attend the meeting.
Board President Trevor Shaw thanked everyone who applied for the open seat.
“It takes a lot of courage and dedication to come forward and put your name out into the public arena,” he said. “I would encourage each and every one of you to think about running in October, and thank you for putting your name in.”
O’Brien was sworn in and assumed her seat, which had been held by Misty Browne. Browne resigned from the board in mid-July, citing work and family obligations.
That seat will be on the October 3 ballot, and will be a one-year term. There also are two three-year seats open on the School Board this fall. They currently are held by Diane Gubatayao and Glenn Brown.
So far, Gubatayao is the only person to file for School Board. The filing period is open until Aug. 25.