Nine apply for vacant Boise trustee opening

Nine Boise residents have applied to fill a vacancy on the Boise School District’s Board of Trustees. Former trustee Andy Hawes vacated his position in July.

Friday marked the deadline for applications. The board will spend the next weeks vetting the applicants, hoping to select Hawes’ replacement in September.

For more information on the nine applicants, view their full applications on the district website.

Here’s who applied:

  • Darla Mitchell: Mitchell is a parent of three students in Boise schools, and serves as a K-2 Girl Scouts founder and troop leader in Boise. According to the resume submitted to the board, Mitchell works as the director of strategic markets for Kyndryl, Inc. One of her top concerns in the district is equitable access to education.
  • Dennis Boatman: Raised in Caldwell and now located in Boise, Boatman is a former Idaho and Washington educator and administrator; he retired in 2019 after a 43-year career. Boatman attended Idaho schools, and two of his three sons are current Idaho educators. One of his top priorities for the district is fiscal responsibility.
  • Jennifer Pierce: Pierce is a current professor of geosciences at Boise State University, and has two daughters in the Boise district. Since her daughters started school, Pierce has volunteered with the district and and engaged in volunteer K-12 outreach. One of her top priorities is supporting student success in science in math.
  • Kelly Grange: Grange recently retired as a CPA and CFO for Hawkins Companies in Boise, and her kids attended school in Boise before pursuing careers in medicine, teaching and business. Her top issues include school bathroom policies and education savings accounts.
  • Kenneth Howell: Howell has served on boards for institutions throughout the state, including Idaho Public Television, the College of Idaho and the Downtown Boise Association. He attended the College of Idaho and University of Idaho and currently works as a lawyer for Hawley Troxell. If selected as a trustee, Howell would prioritize fiscal responsibility and student and teacher success.
  • Krista Hasler: Hasler has a 12-year career in social work, and has four children attending Boise schools. Hasler ran for a seat on the board last August, but lost to Dave Wagers and Beth Oppenheimer. One of her top concerns is mental health care and education in the district.
  • Michael Sharp: Sharp is the director of media relations at Boise State University. He has one child in the district, with another joining in 2024. Sharp’s foremost concern in the district is communication with parents, teachers and patrons.
  • Paul Bennion: Bennion serves as the Vice President for Student Affairs and Dean of Students at the College of Idaho. He graduated from Centennial High School and received a doctorate from the University of Idaho. Bennion’s priorities for the Boise district align with the board’s strategic plan.
  • Sherry Nevers: Nevers has several children attending Boise schools, and has engaged in district outreach and advocacy in the past, including spearheading an effort to reinstate half-day kindergarten for the 2022-23 school year. Nevers’ top priority for the district is improving feedback and communications with patrons.

Wagers outlines selection process

Board president Dave Wagers outlined the trustee selection process at Monday night’s school board meeting.

The board will hold a work meeting on Aug. 18 to discuss and narrow the applicant pool to three or four candidates, Wagers said. The board will later hold interviews with those candidates, and swear in the selected trustee by September 11.

Wagers expressed excitement at the prospect of choosing a new trustee.

“We’ve got nine really good people.”

More from the school board

Shiva Rajbhandari joined Monday’s meeting virtually — a practice that will likely become regular for the teenage trustee.

Though he attended Monday from Illinois, the incoming freshman in college will soon be joining meetings virtually from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

He plans on maintaining his spot on the board since his legal residency is not changing.

Sadie Dittenber

Sadie Dittenber

Reporter Sadie Dittenber focuses on K-12 policy and politics. She is a College of Idaho graduate, born and raised in the Treasure Valley. You can follow Sadie on Twitter @sadiedittenber and send her news tips at [email protected].

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