Boise school board narrows trustee candidate options

Four of nine applicants will move forward in the process to fill a vacancy on the Boise School Board, trustees decided Friday.

The candidates — Paul Bennion, Kenneth Howell, Darla Mitchell and Jennifer Pierce — were selected by trustees in an anonymous vote during the board’s Friday afternoon work session.

  • 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 she 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.
  • Jennifer Pierce: Pierce is a 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.
  • 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.
  • 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.
To read the candidate applications in full, visit the district website.

Life experience, alignment with district goals and values, connections to the community and district and willingness to run a future campaign factored into the board members’ votes. Trustees Maria Greeley and Beth Oppenheimer added that they were wary of candidates with clear agendas.

Bennion, Howell, Mitchell and Pierce are scheduled to participate in interviews with trustees on August 29 between 4-6.

The board will appoint and swear in a new trustee by the September board meeting.

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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