Interviews for School Board Interim Position Scheduled

by jhwygirl

School Board trustee Jenda Hemphill has resigned her district-wide board position for health reasons and the school board will be appointing a replacement. There are 10 applicants for the position.

Interviews will be conducted during a public meeting, to be held Thursday, March 5, in the Business Building Board Room, 915 South Avenue West. The meeting begins at 5 p.m.

Below is a list of the applicants (taken from the Missoula County Public School District website). If you click on their names, it will take you to the letter they submitted for the position, which includes the questionnaire that they needed to complete. The questions were formulated by the board. Names are in alphabetical order. The MCPSD website link also provides contact information for each of the candidates.

Carol Bellin
John Fletcher
Chris Jones
Joseph F. Knapp, Jr.
Theresa A. Martinosky
Shannon O’Brien
Patricia O’Keefe
Mike Ramsey
Christian M. Whalen
Shelly Wills

The successful applicant needs to hit the ground running – they are expected to be sworn in at the March 10th meeting. The interim position is only for 3 months – election for the seat will occur in May. I consider that experience is a plus..and I feel obligated to note that I do not know any of the candidates.

Given those considerations, several applicants stuck out to me:

Carol Bellin is a former school board member – and she’s been an active volunteer in the school district forever. Carol has also made numerous trips to the legislature testifying on behalf of Missoula schools.

John Fletcher is another active volunteer in the school district – having participated in various capacities since the late 70’s. John is also an active community member, having served on numerous boards, including the Public Library Board of Trustees.

Mike Ramsey, in his own words, would “openly and unapologetically (sic) represent a conservative perspective.” He continued, in answer to his main objectives: “To be willing to stand by any decision I make without any misgivings,” and “to listen carefully to all issued being discussed, and carefully consider the solution to my best ability.” I could go on – but really – just go read it yourself.

Patricia O’Keefe is a former teacher, who has also worked for the U.S. Department of Education.

Shannon O’Brien has held public office before, is a former educator, and has significant experience working in various community capacities.

When it comes down to it, Missoula voters have quite the list here – with all of the applicants obviously concerned what happens in our schools – and many of them very well qualified.

I urge all of you to read through the cover letters and questionnaire answers. Then I urge all of you to contact the sitting board members and let them know who you support. You might even consider clearing your calendars for Thursday evening and heading over to the Business Building Board Room at 915 South Avenue West and speaking in favor of a candidate.

By Montana state law, all public meetings must include an opportunity for public comment.

This is not an appointed board – all members of the school board are elected officials who are elected to represent you. Contacting them to tell them who you want to represent YOU on the board is a smart thing to do.

  1. Ayn Rand

    well lets see
    Bellin…balloted third out of three 2006 and a dem
    Fletcher…of new party fame and flames in a decision from political practices
    O’Brian…Obama team leader
    O’Keefe…Hillary supporter
    50% hard left…thats about right for Missoula

  2. Ayn Rand

    ooops…sorry left out Martinosky…Pct 100 Dem committee person…another lefty

    Thats 60%…more in tune with Missoula.

    • jim

      That’s right ann, we like intelligent folks running our schools. But then we also have to put up with the likes of Jim Sadler the censorship bozo and national committeeman for the republicans.

  3. Boy Ayn – you haven’t been around in a while. Should I take your reappearance as an indicator that you might be one of the candidates?

  4. Ayn Rand

    If you have ten toes, I wouldn’t count on it.

  5. Ayn Rand

    Hey Bozo Jim,
    no you want the school board to reflect the progressive facist idology of Missoula. At least be honest. I am, I want the school board to reflect the conservative point of view. To you we are radical righties, to some of us, you are controlling dictator want-to-bes. This is a war and you are the enemy.

    • JC

      “I want the school board to reflect the conservative point of view.”

      Well, you’ll have a hard time accomplishing that, if you read the MCPS “Code of Ethics for School Trustees,” Policy 1151.

      Excerpts of 1151:


      * Render all decisions based on the available facts and my independent judgment, and refuse to surrender that judgment to individuals or special interest groups;

      * refrain from using my Board position for personal or partisan gain;

      * do what we can to destroy factionalism on the Board;

      So Ayn, I don’t think your war to impose your ideology on the School Board will find many friends there.

      As to your declaration of war on your fellow citizens, I think you will further trivialize and marginalize your impacts on public policy. You are but a tiny minority with your ideological world-view, and that minority is shrinking all the time.

  6. Matthew Koehler

    Ayn Rand wrote: “This is a war and you are the enemy.”

    Hmmm…and here I thought this was about giving the children of Missoula County the best education possible.

  7. Jim Lang

    “This is a war and you are the enemy.”

    No, this is a community.

    Unfortunately, like any community, some of its member are consumed by hatred and fear, and as a result believe they are at war with their neighbors. It’s a problem.

  8. Ruthlmm

    On a related topic. There’s a meeting on academic freedom, by the Ad Hoc Committee on Academic Freedom of MCPS. But, can someone confirm when that is, for all those wanting to contribute their two cents to the trustees participating? The published Public Notice says meeting is Thursday, March 6 at 6 p.m.
    So, that could mean it’s Friday, March 6, or could be Thursday, March 5 at 6 p.m.

    – Ruthlmm

  9. Jim Lang

    The idea that school boards should inject partisan politics into education and indoctrinate children with a particular ideology is so wrong-headed that needs no refutation.

  10. Feisty mom

    Ruthlmm — the academic freedom meeting is Thursday, March 5 at 6 pm (I think this is the same time as the trustee applicant interviews), according to the website. Here’s the link:

    And Jhwygirl, thanks so much for posting this. It looks like a plethora of good candidates.

  11. ayn rand- to what right wing lunacy do we attribute this rare appearance. i thought pterodactyls were extinct. why is the right wing so bent on indoctrinating our youth into the cult of rich white obedience and lock-step ultra conservative fascism?

    have a theory. after 8 years of oppression and stupidity under your conservative bush-based regime the adults are starting to think for themselves and defect the party. you must recruit fresh young blood to feed the movement of capitalistic totalitarianism.

    war, hate fear – that is all you people preach and most kids are way too smart to follow that march to the abyss that you offer…

  12. Ayn Rand

    Heh Heh!!! I rest my case.

    • c’mon fess up ayn- you are really just a left winger who is posting outrageous comments to make the right wing nuts look bad, aren’t you? i mean, nobody is that spiteful and ignorant on purpose, right? nice job, though. keep it up. i like it.

      • Matthew Koehler

        Problembear, I’m not so sure of that. I bet “Ayn Rand” is sitting in front of his computer with his pants around his ankles and one hand in a bag of Doritos and his other hand…well, you get the picture.

    • Lizard

      this kid spoke in front of CPAC. he’s written a book about what “conservatism” really means. ayn, is this what you want kids to act like? little parrots who spew out the supposed “values” of your dysfunctional party?

    • You know, Ayn? I wanted to think that someone was playin’ with this one, using your name and posting that to make you look like an ass…but I see that isn’t the case.

      You’re really mean-spirited.

    • Lizard

      well, i think it’s creepy, like little girl beauty pageants, but instead of little dresses and make-up, this pre-adolescent kid is all dolled up in a tie and republican hypocrisy. if these are the supposed values of the right in this country, as articulated by a thirteen year old, and supported by ideologues like “ayn rand”–

      Respect for the constitution
      Respect for life
      Less government
      More personal responsibility

      –then the last eight years must be considered an unmitigated disaster.

      anyone who thinks Bush honored even one of these “values” is so divorced from reality there’s really no point even trying. as things get worse, and Obama doesn’t solve the crisis brought on by DECADES of greed and corruption, these idiots will channel all their impotent frustrations into making some apocalyptic RUSH/PALIN 2012 nightmare scenario possible.

  13. anabanana2

    So as I wrote in my “This is what, or rather who…” blog about how Tei Nash would probably get it in his head to run, or get one of his friends to run, guess who Chris Jones hangs out with…

  14. Lizard

    the argument that extending coverage to domestic partners is fiscally irresponsible is a giant load of shit. thank you ana for drawing my attention to this article.

    culture warriors like these two assholes require a skewed, bigoted belief system to support the whole promiscuous queers get STD’s myth, and that pisses me off.

    it’s not just their intolerance, but their blatant stupidity and, i can only presume, unwillingness to look at a “culture” or “values” issue from a purely economic standpoint.

    in the real world ANYONE living in this country without benefits is more likely to cost the system more when preventable health issues turn into emergency room visits.

    on a somewhat unrelated note, from what i’ve heard second hand, share house in missoula recently lost funding for their four detox beds. part of the lost funding was a policy change from HUD, but the critical cut came from, i believe, St. Pats.

    the dumb part is share house’s lost capacity will mean more emergency room visits at a considerable greater cost than what share house was able to do.

    St. Pats reason for the cut? tough economic times.

    • JC

      I’m not sure about the cuts at Share house, I’ll ask some of my friends who work there about it.

      But as to the ER visits, it doesn’t matter which local detox bed you go to–Share House, or Providence MHU–you usually have to go through the ER for screening. Doesn’t necessarily mean you have to pay regular ER rates, though, as it isn’t always an emergency. It’s just that the ER is the designated screening point for detox.

      • Lizard

        thanks JC. i figure if it’s true, the more who know (and care) the better. when cuts like these happen to service providers, the social burden doesn’t evaporate, it just goes somewhere else.

        • JC

          There’s a story here. I don’t think this is the place to start it, though. It will percolate to the community’s attention soon enough–that is St. Pat’s intention so it seems.

  15. nice piece of detective work ms. anabanana2.

    believe i just heard a few extreme right wing nuts mutter “curses” under their breath. and i could be wrong but i think one of them was twisting his waxed mustache.

  16. Ayn Rand

    Whew, Dr Knapp was appointed. Thank you school board, could of been worse.

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