Four people have filed to fill an Eau Claire school board seat left vacant by former board president Eric Torres, whose resignation took effect Friday.
The four candidates for the seat are UW-Eau Claire director of procurement Melissa Allen, Eau Claire software engineer Justin Hendrickson, learning and development executive Omar Parks and St. Edward’s Montessori School teacher Erica Zerr, according to the school district.
All four also applied for another open board seat that Marquell Johnson, UW-Eau Claire associate professor of kinesiology and director of rehabilitation science, was appointed to earlier in May.
Candidates must deliver a maximum three-minute statement at a 7 p.m. Monday school board meeting, where the board will choose a final candidate. The new member will serve out the rest of Torres’ term, which ends in April 2021.
The new member’s duties will begin Wednesday, according to the school district.
Torres announced May 5 he would leave the board after serving as a member for three years, and as president of the board in 2019 and 2020, for a career opportunity at a Texas university.
Torres drew praise and thanks from new board president Tim Nordin and Eau Claire schools superintendent Mary Ann Hardebeck this month.
“I hope you know just how much we’ll miss you and the example of leadership and service you’ve provided to this district and this community,” Nordin said at a May 18 board meeting.
Also on the agenda for Monday’s meeting:
• The board will review a proposed change on the Eau Claire Virtual School’s student enrollment cap for its 2020-21 academic year. The school’s current cap is 22 students in 4th and 5th grades, and 42 students in 6th through 12th grade. The board has requested “options for raising the cap” for the upcoming school year and will discuss if the cap should remain the same, increase or be removed altogether, according to district documents.
• The board will review changes suggested by the district’s legal counsel to language in the employee handbook about hourly worker layoffs. The change would “better prepare the district to address necessary staff layoff situations should they arise due to situations similar to the current pandemic,” according to meeting materials.
• The board is slated to review the results of a survey on a potential spring 2021 referendum. The survey replaced four in-person community listening sessions, which were originally scheduled for April but canceled because of coronavirus concerns.