The Ketchikan School Board appointed Rachel Breithaupt Wednesday to a seat left vacant by the resignation of former board President Trevor Shaw.
Breithaupt is a candidate for school board. She will remain on Tuesday’s ballot for one of the three-year seats open for election. According to the borough clerk, if Breithaupt wins one of those seats on Tuesday, she can choose whether to accept the three-year seat, or to remain in the appointed seat, which is for one year.
Breithaupt was one of three applicants for the open board seat. The other two were former Board Member Michael Fitzgerald and Bridget Mattson, another candidate for school board. All three were interviewed during Wednesday’s meeting.
Breithaupt, a social worker, told the board that she is a good choice because she’s a bridge-builder who believes in working with others and creating relationships.
“I strongly believe that everyone is doing the best they can with what they have,” she said. “I don’t actually believe in villains anymore.”
The board did not discuss their choices before casting paper ballots indicating their preferred candidates. In the first round of paper ballots, Breithaupt and Mattson were the top-two. They answered a few more questions before a second round of voting.
In that second round, Breithaupt came out on top. The board then voted unanimously to appoint her. She was sworn in and assumed her seat immediately.
Also Wednesday, the board heard from teachers and parents asking them to move forward with teacher contract negotiations. Teachers have been working on an expired contract for more than a year.
The board had an executive session at the end of Wednesday’s meeting to discuss negotiations with Ketchikan Education Association. No action was taken following that closed-door meeting.