News

School Board jockeying begins

By MIKE HALLIDAY

The Mirror

With the resignation Tuesday of Federal Way School Board member Earl VanDorien Jr., names of possible sucessors are being brought up in conversations around town.

A former board president, a past candidate and a frequent commentator on school issue have been mentioned.

VanDorien's resignation, which he submitted unexpectedly at Tuesday's board meeting, will be formally considered at the next board meeting April 26.

The vacancy is in District 4 of the Federal Way Public Schools service area around Enchanted Village.

Whomever the board selects must serve the remainder of VanDorien's term, which expires at the end of the year. The newcomer can choose to run for election.

The board has 90 days after accepting the resignation to appoint a replacement. Typically, people apply for the position and are interviewed publicly by the board, which then takes a vote to select the new member.

Jim Storvick was on the board from 1997 to 2001. He chose not to run for re-election in order to spend time with his family. Since at least last fall, Storvick has been considering a comeback, he said.

While he hasn't come to a decision on being a candidate in this fall's election, Storvick said he will apply to replace VanDorien.

"I think I'm qualified," Storvick said.

But he's not optimistic he will be considered. The board's philosophies don't necessarily mesh with his, Storvick said.

He was on the board when current members Charles Hoff and Ed Barney joined in 2000 and 2001, respectively.

Two other rumored candidates are Steve Skipper, who said he won't apply, and Karla Dyer, who said she might.

Skipper ran against Storvick in 1997 and was asked by board member Evelyn Castellar if he was interested in applying for VanDorien's vacant seat.

"No way," Skipper said Thursday. "I just don't need to be there."

That he is a contractor with Castellar's business, Intellipass/Insurepass, isn't the reason he won't apply to replace VanDorien, Skipper said.

The board is heading in the right direction with a good administration, Skipper said, adding he can speak to all the board members and they listen to his opinions and ideas. That is more valuable to him than being a board member, he added.

Dyer ran against VanDorien in 2001 and lost by more than 13 percent.

On Thursday, Dyer said she hadn't made a decision but was talking to her family about the possibility of seeking to replace VanDorien.

She called the vacancy "a great opportunity, if not for me, for someone else."

VanDorien, who frequently was at the center of board controversies, said he needs to spend more time with his family. He said his resignation wasn't spurred by clashes he's had with other board members, notably Castellar since her election in 2003, or any other issues.

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

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