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School board looking to fill vacant seat

The Federal Way School Board has approved new district director boundaries, which means the board can begin accepting applications for its vacant District 3 seat.

In a somewhat unconventional move, the board will dispense with normal meeting procedures at its final March meeting and will hold an informal, town hall-type meeting to discuss with applicants what the job entails.

The meeting will begin at 5:30 p.m. March 25 at the Educational Service Center, 31405 18th Ave. S. in Federal Way.

Application packets are available at the center.

Whoever is chosen to replace Ann Murphy, who resigned earlier this month, would serve the rest of her four-year term and then run for election in 2003 in order to remain in office.

Board applicants must be U.S. citizens and registered voters living within District 3, which generally includes the southwestern portion of the school district.

Service requires a commitment to participate in two formal business meetings each month and several board work studies and planning sessions during the year.

Board members also typically participate in school and community events year-round.

One of the member, Don Putman, has said the board required a little more work than he initially anticipated, including reviewing papers from the district, reading and responding to e-mail, researching information from the state and federal governments, boning up on budget issues and learning school-related laws.

Board directors represent the community as a whole — not just the constituents in their districts — and they are elected at-large. School boards generally are responsible for adopting district policy, planning and monitoring operations and controlling expenditures.

The Federal Way board is currently setting policy to guide the district through the transition to a middle school system, reviewing the construction of the new high school, evaluating graduation requirements and looking into policy changes regarding R-rated movies in classes and allowing athletes to participate in school sports if they’ve been suspended or expelled.

The board set a timeline for filling the District 3 seat:

• March 25: Informal applicant meeting with the board.

• April 11: Application deadline.

• April 15: Board will meet in executive session (closed to the public) to narrow the field to five candidates.

• April 25: Board will interview the five candidates at a public meeting. After the interviews, the board will adjourn into executive session and make a final decision, which will be announced that night.

• May 14: The new director will take the oath of office.

Staff writer Erica Jahn can be reached at 925-5565 and ejahn@fedwaymirror.com.

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