Five apply for Sparta School Board vacancy

Applicants now being sought for second vacancy

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The Sparta School District received five applications for the school board seat vacated by Eric Solberg last month.

One of the applicants is John Hendricks, the former Sparta school superintendent and Sparta Chamber of Commerce executive.

The other applicants are Kelly Anderson, Anthony Scholze, Patrick McKenna and Misty Morales.

The five are scheduled to be interviewed on Thursday, Oct. 14. The appointment will be made by a majority vote of the school board.

While the deadline to apply for Solberg’s seat was last Friday, the school board also is accepting applications to fill the seat left vacant by the recent resignation of Nancy Sikorsky.

Sikorsky submitted her resignation on Wednesday, Oct. 6, citing an unsafe and unproductive atmosphere existing in the Sparta School District since the school board voted 4-2 to reinstate a mask mandate on Sept. 8.

She and Solberg, who also voted for the mask mandate, were targets of a recall effort since they were the only two board members who voted in the majority and had served over a year in their present term, a requirement to be eligible for recall.

Solberg resigned his seat a month ago. The school board will choose applicants by majority vote to fill out the remaining 18 months of each term, which ends with the April 2023 election.

The process for filling Sikorsky’s seat is described in Board Policy Article 0142.5:  

  1. Appointment by the Board to fill a vacancy shall be by the majority vote of the existing Board. All votes shall be recorded, preserved and open to public inspection to the extent prescribed in Wis. Stat. Chapter 19. Secret ballots may only be used when Board members are electing officers.
  2. The vacancy shall be announced in the local newspaper for a minimum of two (2) weeks prior to the deadline for applications. 
  3. If one or no applications are received by the deadline, the deadline may be extended by a majority vote of the Board. 
  4. If more than six (6) candidates apply for the vacancy, the Board as a whole may review the applications and select six (6) candidates for consideration by the full Board.
  5. All applicants are to submit a notice of their interest, in writing, to the Board Administrative Assistant/Superintendent's Office.
  6. The Board mayinterview candidates to ascertain their qualifications. All applicants will be notified of their interview time and given an equal opportunity to make statements on their behalf and answer Board questions.  If a candidate is unavailable during the designated meeting, the candidate may choose another person to represent himself/herself. Applicants will be requested as a courtesy to not be present while other applicants are being interviewed.  Interviews of the candidates shall be done in open meeting unless the discussion involves financial, medical, social or personal histories or disciplinary data that, if discussed in public, would be likely to have a substantial adverse effect upon the reputation of the person.
  7. If the vacancy is not filled within sixty (60) days of the date on which the vacancy first exists, the vacancy shall be filled by the following methods: 
  8. If an appointment for a vacancy is not made due to a voting deadlock of the Board at the conclusion of the initial sixty (60) day period following the date on which the vacancy first exists, the final selection will made at the first meeting of the full Board (following the initial sixty (60) day period) by a random drawing of the candidates tied with the highest number of votes during the most recent attempt.
  9. If the first solution does not apply for any reason, the Board President will appoint a candidate to fill the vacancy at the first meeting of the full Board which follows the initial sixty (60) day period.

All applicants will be notified in writing of the Board's decision.  The candidate appointed to the vacancy upon being notified of the selection shall be deemed to have accepted the appointment unless, within five (5) days thereafter, the person files with the Board Clerk or Board President a written refusal to serve. 

Pending acceptance and filing the oath of office and Campaign Registration Statement, the appointed Board member shall be seated at the next meeting of the Board.  The Board President will assign the appointee to a standing committee and other delegated responsibilities as necessary.  Within ten (10) days after the appointment, the Board Clerk will report the name and post-office address of the new member to the clerk and treasurer of each municipality having territory in the school District.

Interested individuals should contact the School District Office at Maplewood, 900 E Montgomery Street, Sparta, WI 54656, or call (608) 366-3400, where applications are available.  All applications and/or letters of interest are to be received by the District Office at Maplewood by 4 p.m. on Friday, Oct. 29.  

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