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Filing opens for Whitefish School Board election

by WHITNEY ENGLAND
Whitefish Pilot | February 24, 2021 1:00 AM

The Whitefish School Board of Trustees has two seats open for the upcoming board elections on May 4.

The filing deadline for interested candidates is quickly approaching as all paperwork must be completed and submitted to the district office by March 25 at 4:30 p.m. Those interested must provide a declaration of intent and oath of candidacy prior to the deadline, and must be a qualified voter residing in the Whitefish School District boundary.

According to Whitefish Schools Business Clerk Lucie Shea, as of Thursday no candidates had filed yet. But she said it is not uncommon to have candidates wait until March to file, including the trustees that might be seeking re-election.

Trustees Ruth Harrison and Betsy Kohnstamm’s terms both expire in May.

Harrison was first appointed to the board of trustees in 2005, and out of all the current trustees has been on the school board for the most consecutive terms. Kohnstamm is finishing up her first term on the board as she was elected in 2018 after retiring from a teaching career the year prior.

Trustees serve in staggered three-year terms and the number of terms a trustee can serve is not limited..

In its Feb. 9 meeting, the board approved a call for election. However if the school board has two or less qualified candidates to fill the seats by April 2, the district may cancel the trustee elections and candidates will be seated by acclamation.

The last day to withdraw from the election and also for a write-in candidate to file a declaration of intent is April 1.

The Whitefish School District’s website describes the school board as comprised of seven citizens, as a representation of a “commitment to local citizen control and decision making in education.”

The district also notes that the trustees are elected to represent the community in setting district policies, adopting the budget, placing tax levies and bond issues on the ballot, hiring personnel including the superintendent and for providing the necessary facilities for the education of the community's youth.

Those interested in becoming a trustee on the Whitefish School Board should file paperwork at the district office, 600 E. Second St.

For more information call 406-862-8643.