Doug Park elected trustee for Boise schools

The Boise School District’s Board of Trustees voted four times before agreeing to make Doug Park the district’s seventh trustee. Park replaces Janet Orndorff, who served more than 20 years on the board and died in March after a battle with breast cancer.

Park will serve out Orndorff’s term and said he will run for election in September of 2014. Park said he has

Doug Park being sworn in to serve on the Boise School Board.
Doug Park being sworn in to serve on the Boise School Board.

owned his own consulting company that specializes in managing change. He said he quit the operation six months ago and is now devoting his time to volunteer work.

Park, Karl Klein and Cecelia Gassner each got two votes from the trustees during the first three attempts to reach a majority. Before the fourth vote was taken, the trustees took 20 minutes to share why they voted the way they did, including what characteristics they were looking for but not naming their favorite choice.

Trustee Joan Boren shared her concerns about conflicts of interests. Gassner is an assistant to Mayor Dave Bieter on economic development. Boren said she was concerned about “overlap” with the city and the district serving the same patrons and taxing authority.

Klein is a lawyer with the Idaho’s attorney general’s office.

Balukoff said he wanted someone with experience because three — and now four — of the board members are new. Trustee Nancy Gregory asked for someone with institutional knowledge and team-building skills.

Thirteen people submitted applications, 11 were interviewed by the trustees and on Monday, 10 of those candidates made three-minute statements to introduce themselves and explain why they were interested in serving one of Idaho’s largest districts.

President A.J. Balukoff said: “Just because you didn’t get picked doesn’t mean you wouldn’t make an excellent trustee. I am looking for what we are missing in terms of experience, background and talents.”

Trustee Shauneen Grange said she will ask some of the candidates to fill committee positions.

About 25 people were at the board meeting, including the 10 candidates and some family members.

This will be the second trustee named to the board this year. In February, Grange replaced Rory Jones, a 26-year board member. Grange’s term also runs through September 2014.

In September, Derick O’Neill and Phil Kelly completed their terms and did not run again. They were replaced with Maria Greeley and Troy Rohn.
Joan Boren was elected in 2010 for a six-year term.  She replaced Bea Black, who had been on the board for 18 years. Gregory, an 11-year veteran of the board, will be up for re-election in September 2014.
Balukoff, who has been on the board since 1997, will be up for reelection in 2018.

These are the candidates who spoke on Monday:

  • Colleen Fellows — Member at large and chair of the Public Policy Committee Board of Governors, Idaho Association for the Education of  Young Children.
  • Luke Franklin — Meridian Education Association/Idaho Education Association Region 9 president.
  • Cecelia Gassner Economic development assistant to Boise Mayor Dave Bieter.
  • Karl Klein — Lawyer, Idaho attorney general’s office.
  • Brian Mitchell — Financial adviser.
  • John Owens — Has worked for the Bureau of Land Management.
  • Richard Padour — Retired educator.
  • Doug Park — Change management consultant.
  • Anthony Pori — Owner of The Math Advantage, LLC.
  • Gary Slee — Affiliate instructor for University of Idaho, retired Boise schools administrator


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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