Gilbert residents interested in applying for the governing board vacancy in the Gilbert Unified School District have until Oct. 23 to apply.
Interested candidates must be registered to vote in Arizona, have lived within the Gilbert district boundaries for at least the past year, and be able to attend a nominee seminar on Nov. 14.
Van Dunham announced last week he will resign from the board Nov. 11 because he is moving to a home outside of the district. Dunham and his wife, Cynthia, plan to take care of her ailing parents. The couple found a home in Gilbert in the Higley Unified School District that fits their needs.
Dunham's term expires Dec. 31, 2010, and whoever is appointed to fill his seat will continue for the remainder of his term. Dunham is finishing his seventh year on the board.
The task to fill a board vacancy will be up to local school districts, and interested candidates will now apply directly to the Gilbert district's governing board office, 140 S. Gilbert Road, Gilbert. District orientation materials will be available to interested candidates Wednesday.
A new collaborative nomination process was set in place by Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools Donald Covey in January after he received advice from several education organizations.
Gilbert district officials released the deadlines and the governing board appointment process information on Tuesday.
"We recognize it's a very compressed time line, but it's being driven by the seminar on the 14th," said governing board president Thad Stump. "If we don't prepare a nominee by that time, then we have to wait another three months (for the next nominee seminar)."
Interested candidates need to submit a statement of interest that includes personal data, including name, address, and contact information, career and education, community and school service, and information about home, family, hobbies and recreation.
The candidate must submit brief narratives describing how the candidate's experiences qualified and prepared them for school board service, and what the candidate hopes to see accomplished in the district during his or her service.
Candidates must also include proof of Arizona voter registration and a signed, notarized affidavit of qualification for nomination.
Letters of recommendation will also be accepted, although they are not necessary for consideration, according to the district's information.
The candidate information must be submitted to the district's board office by 4 p.m. Oct. 23.
A collaboration team consisting of Stump, Superintendent Dave Allison, and Gilbert Education Association president Jo Bell will review the candidate documents. Final candidates will be interviewed Oct. 26 to Nov. 5.
The team will then choose three nominees and forward their names to Covey's office by Nov. 6.
Those three candidates must then attend a nominee seminar from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Nov. 14 at the Maricopa County School offices, 4041 N. Central Ave., Suite 1100, Phoenix. Members of the district's collaboration team, along with several local education groups and Covey, will meet the candidates and interview and evaluate them during the seminar.
Covey is supposed to finalize the appointment by Nov. 20. If all goes as planned, the newly appointed governing board member will then be administered the oath of office Nov. 24 and be seated on the board for that night's regularly scheduled board meeting.
The Gilbert district has had three appointed school board members in the past several years. Lily Tram, who was appointed in April 2008 to fill a vacancy, won re-election to the board in November. Tram was one of 13 candidates who applied for the board vacancy after board member Traci Klein abruptly resigned.
"We anticipate we will get a number of qualified candidates," said Stump, adding he has already received a couple of e-mails from interested candidates.
Interested candidates should call Stump at (480) 399-3246 or e-mail email@example.com.
For information on the new nomination procedures, visit www.maricopa.gov/schools/pdf/elections/se_elect_appointment_process.pdf.