News

Castellar missing more School Board meetings

By MIKE HALLIDAY

The Mirror

Evelyn Castellar is in the news again, and she's not even in the country.

Two fellow Federal Way School Board members weren't happy with her absence from a Jan. 11 board meeting and that she's going to be away for the next two meetings.

The board voted 2-1 to excuse Castellar. Board member Ed Barney was also absent from the meeting and was excused unanimously.

The board returned to a policy of approving the absences of colleagues, a procedure required by the school district's rules.

Castellar makes regular trips to a ranch she owns with her husband in Honduras. She also takes medicine and other medical supplies for people in the nearby village. She is away for a couple of months during these trips.

Board members Bob Millen and Earl VanDorien Jr. called her absence from the Jan. 11 meeting and upcoming meetings Jan. 28 and Feb. 8 "excessive." But Millen voted with board member Charlie Hoff, a close ally of Castellar in board issues and education philosophies, to excuse her.

"I don't know if I will approve this again," Millen said.

VanDorien, who has clashed previously with Castellar on the attendance issue, said his latest opposition means he "will suffer the wrath of Evelyn when she gets back, but that's okay."

Castellar has been criticized in the past for skipping board meetings because of her trips to Honduras. The total is nine, counting the next two she's expected to miss. She's been in office for 14 months.

Since 2002, no other board member has missed more than four meetings.

Under board rules, a member can be removed from office if they have four consecutive absences without permission for a reason other than illness.

Staff writer Mike Halliday; 925-5565, mhalliday@fedwaymirror.com

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