PRINEVILLE, OR -- After a contentious election that brought three new members, the Crook County School Board will replace a fourth position over the next two weeks. "Gwen Carr has endured a head injury." Board Chair Jessica Ritter says Carr submitted her resignation last week, to focus on healing.
The currnet board plans to vote and swear in Carr’s replacement June 12, prior to the three newly elected members getting seated in July. "The problem is the policy seems pretty clear that we need to act immediately," Ritter tells KBND News, "And it doesn’t seem to give allowance to just letting it sit vacant." She says they've already discussed the qualities they want in a new member, "Staff are concerned; this is a big transition. And so, I think probably - just me personally, I’m looking for someone who is so reasonable, so stable, experienced, if possible; just someone who will absolutely consider the expertise of staff, when making decisions, and the good of kids and stay away from all this political stuff."
Ritter says the board has received criticism because she and two other members who all lost re-election will choose the appointee, "And the hard part is, this is a volunteer gig that we’ve all signed up for and we’ve all served well, I believe. And it’s just hard to go out like that, to have people being so unkind."
The Crook County School Board is just five members. Which means come July first, Scott Cooper will be the only holdover. "He’s well seasoned, extremely experienced and I think will be a great driving force for the new members," says Ritter. "It’s a huge change and I’m sure it puts a lot of people in an uneasy place, thinking of this significant of a change. But, the reality is, we have amazing people in place at the district office and at every building. And there’s no reason to think any of that needs to change one bit with this transition."
Application’s for Carr’s replacement will be accepted through June fifth.
The official notice of vacancy and application materials are available on the school district’s website or can be picked up at the district office, located behind the Best Western Hotel at 471 Ochoco Plaza Drive in Prineville.
Since Carr’s position is at-large, any citizen living in Crook County can apply if they meet the following criteria:
· Must live in Crook County
· Must have been a resident of Crook County for at least one year
· Must not be an employee of Crook County School District
· Must be a registered voter