Nine seek empty Medford School Board seat

Nine people are seeking appointment to an empty seat on the Medford School Board, including a former school board member.

The appointee will replace Kevin Christiansen in Position 7, who resigned Oct. 5 for a new job in Colorado.

School board members plan to interview the applicants beginning at 4:30 p.m. on Wednesday, Dec. 1, at the district central office, 500 Monroe St. The successful applicant will be appointed later in the month to complete Christiansen's term, which expires June 30. At that point, the appointee may seek election to the seat during the May election.

"The new board member will need to be interested in public education and willing to serve and to take the time to get educated about how the board works," said School Board President Eric Dziura. He said school board members typically spend about 20 to 25 hours a month, including attending board meetings and conferences, reading, preparation time and training.

Applicants include former board member Cynthia Wright; certified public accountant Curt Ankerberg, who made an unsuccessful bid for election to the board in 2009; retired educator Ron Anderson; Natasha Atkinson, program manager for a group home; retired educator Bill Hartley; church youth director Eli Matthews; physical therapist Susan Michelle Larson Reynolds; homemaker Kimberly Wallan; and attorney Marlene Rocio Yesquen.

School board members are expected to use interview questions from a previous board member appointment process in 2008. Questions probed candidates' interest in education, strengths, perspectives on education challenges, conflict resolution and ideas for district improvement.

The seven-member school board sets policy for a district of about 12,300 students and 1,100 employees in a 361-square-mile area in Medford, Jacksonville, Ruch and parts of Central Point.

Reach reporter Paris Achen at 541-776-4459 or e-mail

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