Change was ushered in at the January 4th Snoqualmie Valley School Board meeting.
With the pledge of allegiance finished and a quick Oath of Office administered by Superintendent Aune, the two newest SVSD board members were off to work at the first meeting of the new year.
In November, North Bend resident Gary Fancher and Snoqualmie resident Melissa Johnson pulled off upsets that no other challengers in nearby schools district races managed – upsetting incumbents [Marci Busby and Tavish MacLean].
One of the first agenda items of the night was electing new school board officers – and Fancher and Johnson wasted no time, playing key roles in board leadership changes.
Fancher nominated Carolyn Simpson, who is beginning her 7th year on the board. Longtime board member Dan Popp quickly countered, nominating Geoff Doy to serve a 5th term as president, citing the district’s accomplishments during his previous terms and the importance of the good working relationship between Doy and Aune.
Fancher was complimentary of Doy’s accomplishments and leadership during his tenure, but explained that based on conversations with both Doy and Simpson, he felt she was more open to hearing thoughts and ideas – and that was the reason for his nomination.
In a 3-2 vote Simpson was elected president for 2018, with the new board members voting for that presidential role change.
The election of Vice President seemed to shocked some, including Doy and Popp, when Simpson then made the surprise nomination of newcomer Melissa Johnson.
Simpson explained that while it was seemingly unorthodox to nominate Johnson on her first day serving, based on her own experience in the VP role, she was confident Johnson could do the job. Doy and Popp both abstained from the vote in which Johnson was elected 3-0.
At the conclusion of the meeting Popp and Doy both stated the abstention was a “mini protest” of the unorthodox nomination of a new board member to serve in the VP role on day one of their term. Neither, however, nominated each other as Vice President.
Popp went on to explain that the abstention was not indicative of a concern that Johnson was not qualified to serve as VP. He said she had his full support in the officer role and knew she would do a great job.
The next school board meeting is January 18th at 6:30PM in Snoqualmie City Hall chambers.