Divided Caldwell board selects two new members

Caldwell School District trustees voted to add Kent Marmon and Lisa Bevington to the board Friday night, replacing trustees who were recalled in November.

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Trustee Travis Manning voted against two candidates named to the Caldwell School District’s board of trustees on Friday.

Both were approved 2-1 with trustee Travis Manning voting in opposition. Trustee Tom Briten and chairman Chuck Stout voted in favor.

The meeting was punctuated by contentious exchanges between trustees.

When Stout seconded a motion to appoint Marmon, Manning questioned if it was appropriate action for a chair. Stout said he “had the same privileges today as you do.” Manning had refused to second Briten’s motion.

At the end of the meeting, which lasted more than three hours, Manning asked if the board could go into closed executive session.

Stout replied, “Not if we can’t stop the leaks, I won’t be going into executive session, my friend. … Not if you can’t keep it off the Internet.”

Manning questioned what Stout was talking about. Briten and Manning began arguing, with Stout trying to intercede. “Come on, you guys,” said Stout, just before ending the meeting.

(Click here to watch the meeting).

Marmon is a Caldwell native and Caldwell High School graduate. He has worked as a substitute teacher in the district. He works part-time as a bus driver for the Middleton Bus Co. His grandchildren attend Caldwell schools.

Bevington also is a Caldwell High graduate. She has volunteered in the district when her two children attended Caldwell schools.

Three other candidates were considered Friday — Joe Martinez, Anne Spencer and Theadore Arellano.

Leif Skyving and Amy Rojas were voted off the board Nov. 3, 2015, five months after the still-unexplained ouster of Superintendent Tim Rosandick and deputy superintendent Luci Asumendi. In June 2015, Skyving and Rojas were two of the three trustees who voted to oust Rosandick and Asumendi. Recall backers have criticized the secrecy that continues to surround the shakeup. A majority of voters supported the recalls.

The Caldwell School District, one of the largest in Idaho with about 6,000 students, is still without a permanent leader. Jodie Mills is serving as interim superintendent.

Jennifer Swindell

Jennifer Swindell

Managing editor and CEO Jennifer Swindell founded Idaho Education News in 2013. She has led the online news platform as it has grown in readership and engagement every year, reaching over two million pageviews a year. Jennifer has more than 35 years of experience in Idaho journalism. She also has served as a public information officer for Idaho schools and as a communication director at Boise State University. She can be reached at [email protected].

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