Former lawmaker, U of I executive vied for State Board post

(UPDATED, 10:57 a.m. Wednesday, with comment from Otter’s office.)

West Ada school Superintendent Linda Clark beat out a couple of familiar candidates for a vacancy on the State Board of Education.

But it’s unclear how many people applied for the post, filled on Friday.

Linda Clark Nov 20
Linda Clark, a 37-year veteran in the West Ada School District, was appointed to the State Board of Education Friday.

A list of five finalists included former state Rep. Wendy Jaquet, a Ketchum Democrat who spent 18 years in the Legislature; and Trudy Anderson, a former associate vice president with the University of Idaho in Boise. Both Jaquet and Anderson were applicants a year ago, when Otter filled two other vacancies on the eight-member State Board, which charts education policy at the K-12 and postsecondary levels.

On Friday, Otter named Clark to the State Board for a term running through June 2020. Her appointment is subject to Senate confirmation — as is the case for Emma Atchley, an Ashton businesswoman and potato grower reappointed to a second five-year term.

In appointing Clark, who has spent 11 years at the helm of the state’s largest school district, Otter praised the field of applications for the appointment. “Each applicant brought exceptional strengths to the table. I am impressed with the caliber of candidates and greatly appreciate their willingness to step forward and serve in such an important capacity.”

Idaho Education News submitted a public records request for application materials, On Tuesday, Otter’s office released resumes for five applicants: Clark; Jaquet; Anderson; Dean Klein, a Micron Technology vice president; and Andrew Scoggin, an executive vice president with Albertson’s.

It was not clear whether these were the only five applicants to replace Rod Lewis, a Micron attorney who stepped down after 15 years on the State Board.

“I don’t have information on other applicants,” Otter spokesman Jon Hanian said in an email Wednesday. “You have the names I have and the ones that we can provide under the law.”

But the last time State Board seats came vacant, the state received dozens of applications — and furnished lists of applicants.

Last summer, in response to an Idaho Education News records request for State Board applications, Otter’s office released resumes for finalists, and said other applications had been destroyed.