Two applicants for a vacant Ketchikan School Board position will be interviewed publicly by the board on Wednesday.
Bridget Mattson and Tom Huette both turned in applications for the one-year seat. The seat was held by former board President Trevor Shaw, who resigned soon before the October local election.
Mattson ran for school board in that election. She was a close fourth for one of three open board seats. In her application, she writes that many people who voted for her asked her to apply for the vacancy.
Mattson writes that ongoing and contentious teacher-contract negotiations are the biggest challenge facing the school district. She adds that she’d like to help with plans to deal with class-size equity and school-enrollment disparities.
In his application, Huette writes that he wants to become more connected to the community through service on the board. He served previously on the Ketchikan Charter School board, and on various boards in Juneau.
Huette says teacher contract negotiations are a big challenge facing the district, along with the investigation into the district’s response to sexual abuse allegations, and leadership and state-funding changes.
After both candidates are interviewed, the board will choose one, and will swear that new member in right away.
Also Wednesday, the board has two executive sessions. The first is to discuss teacher-contract negotiations. The second is to receive an update on the independent investigation into allegations of sexual abuse by a teacher.
That teacher has been criminally charged. The district’s investigation is concerned only with how district officials responded to reports before those charges were made.
Wednesday’s meeting starts at 6 p.m. in borough assembly chambers at the White Cliff building. Public comment will be heard at the start and end of the meeting.