A social worker and a former school leader vie for Boise board vacancy

(Updated: March 28 at 11:38 a.m., with a statement from Hasler clarifying that she did not accept the Liberty Dogs’ 2022 endorsement.)

Boise trustees will interview two candidates for Beth Oppenheimer’s former school board seat at a special meeting Monday, and expect to make a selection on April 8. 

The candidates include Debbie Donovan, a former longtime administrator and teacher with the Boise School District,  and Krista Hasler, a social worker and therapist, who has made two previous trustee bids. 

The new trustee will serve until the next school board election is held on Sept. 3. 

Donovan recently concluded a 40-year career in the Boise School District, where she held roles as a teacher, school administrator, and district administrator. Her application for the position included signatures of support from well-known Boiseans, including AJ Balukoff, a longtime former Boise school trustee and two-time candidate for governor.

Krista Hasler
Debbie Donovan

“I have no specific agenda or issue that has brought me to this decision to apply other than continuing to give back to this incredible school district by serving the community in a new role as a trustee,” she wrote in her application. 

In the coming year, Donovan said the board should continue to focus on mental health, and she expressed support for the district’s plan to develop graduate profiles. 

Hasler, who has four children in the district, ran for a seat on the board in August 2022, when she was endorsed by the Idaho Liberty Dogs, and also applied for a vacancy in August 2023. Both attempts were unsuccessful.

In an email to EdNews on Thursday, Hasler wrote that she did not seek or accept the Liberty Dogs’ 2022 endorsement. 

“I do not represent or support extremism,” she wrote. “This is a nonpartisan position and I truly believe our education system needs to work for the public as a whole by remaining politically neutral.”

If appointed, she said she would focus on mental health and early education initiatives, as well as assessing academic opportunities (especially in seventh through ninth grade).

“I see that trustees help influence and shape academic and interpersonal outcomes for students and would like to join my voice to that process,” Hasler wrote in her application.

Carly Flandro

Carly Flandro

Carly Flandro reports from her hometown of Pocatello. Prior to joining EdNews, she taught English at Century High and was a reporter for the Bozeman Daily Chronicle. She has won state and regional journalism awards, and her work has appeared in newspapers throughout the West. Flandro has a bachelor’s degree in print journalism and Spanish from the University of Montana, and a master’s degree in English from Idaho State University. You can email her at [email protected] or call or text her at (208) 317-4287.

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