Nine apply for Aspen school board seat

Erica Robbie
The Aspen Times

The Aspen Board of Education reported Monday that nine people have applied for the district’s open board seat.

At Monday’s board meeting, which began one hour after the application deadline, school board President Susan Marolt revealed the names of eight of the nine applicants.

Adam Cherry, Derek Johnson, Lee Mulcahy, Jonathan Nickell, Barb Pitchford, Dwayne Romero, Jeffrey Siegel and Susan Zimet are in the mix for the vacant board position.

One applicant requested his or her name not be released, Marolt said.

The term of office for the position, which opened April 25 following former board Treasurer Bob Glah’s resignation, runs until the November 2017 election.

Aspen School District secretary to the board of education Angela Rittenhouse said after the meeting Monday that nine candidates for one spot is “either tied for or the most” number of applicants she has seen.

The next highest number Rittenhouse said she could recall was seven or eight applicants for three board seats during a previous application cycle.

School board Secretary Sheila Kennedy Wills said she is very surprised not only by the high volume of applicants but also by the “really high quality” of applicants.

“Sometimes when we do this, we get very little response,” Wills said after the meeting Monday. “Sometimes when we have elections, we get very little people running.”

“Sometimes nobody,” Assistant Superintendent Tom Heald said.

Between today and Wednesday, Marolt and Wills will interview all nine applicants, Marolt said.

The final three candidates will then participate in a Q&A-type panel before the board during the June 2 board meeting.

All four board members will be involved in the final decision, which Marolt said she hopes to announce the following day, June 3.

At Monday’s meeting, board Assistant Secretary Margeaux Johansson was appointed to serve as the board treasurer.

Marolt nominated Johansson to the position, which the board approved in a 4-0 vote.

Marolt said the new school board member will likely assume the assistant secretary position.