Deadline to apply for board seat extended to Jan. 20

Interested applicants still have time to apply for the open Board of Education District 9-South Peninsula seat that serves some areas of Homer, Nanwalek, Port Graham and Seldovia.

The deadline has been extended until Jan. 20 at 5 p.m., because no one applied prior to the previously set Dec. 29, 2015, cutoff to fill the position vacated in December by 12-year member Sunni Hilts.

“One-ninth of the entire (Kenai) peninsula is not represented right now and we need to fill it,” said board member Dan Castimore.

Board president Joe Arness said one application was sent in on Dec. 31 but could not be considered because it was late. Because the deadline has been extended, the board will consider the single applicant as well as any others that come in before the deadline.

Castimore said no one can be placed in the position by default and the board has to go through the formal process of interviewing and discussing any applicant’s qualifications. Legally, the board is required to fill the seat within 31 days of its vacancy, but if no one applies, it obviously can’t be done, he said.

Penny Vadla said she felt comfortable approving the applicant if no one else applied.

In a worksession Monday afternoon, Arness said the board has a significant amount of room to address the vacancy as they see fit. Board member Tim Navarre suggested pushing the deadline back even further to as late as Jan. 25. Arness advised such a late date wouldn’t provide enough time for administrators and board members to review any other applicants.

Interviews will be held the afternoon of Feb. 1, before the next regularly scheduled board meeting that evening, when the board will vote on and approve a candidate.

Superintendent Sean Dusek said to send anyone interested in applying to the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District website, or to apply in person at the administration office in Soldotna.

Board member Lynn Hohl requested Dusek also send emails to city chambers, schools and relevant organizations in the communities the new official will represent, to which he agreed.