SD2 board taking applications for vacant trustee seat

2011-11-21T21:45:00Z 2011-11-22T00:11:46Z SD2 board taking applications for vacant trustee seatBy ROB ROGERS Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette
November 21, 2011 9:45 pm  • 

It’s official.

The Billings School District 2 board voted Monday night to declare vacant the seat vacated by Chairwoman Barbara Bryan when she resigned last month.

Declaring the seat vacant means people can now apply for the post. Community members living in Zone 6 — which includes the neighborhoods along Poly Drive and Rimrock Road from about Highwood Drive out to the Ironwood subdivision — can apply for the spot until 4 p.m. on Dec. 5.

Trustees voted unanimously Monday to require that all applicants submit a letter of interest and fill out an online application on the district’s website. They must also have

three references.

From there, the board will meet at 5:30 p.m. on Dec. 12 to interview the candidates.

The term expires in May, meaning whoever is appointed will have to run this spring in order to keep the seat.

Bryan resigned from the board on Oct. 18.

In an email to trustees, she said service on the board had ceased to be a productive use of her time.

Her resignation followed the departure of embattled Superintendent Keith Beeman two weeks earlier.

The board had voted 5-4 earlier in the month to terminate Beeman’s contract after a failed attempt by trustees to renew the contract for another two years.

Bryan had been one of Beeman’s staunchest supporters.

In an effort to heal some of the relationships damaged by those actions, the board voted Monday night to hold a retreat Jan. 6-7 to work on governance and board committee structures and to go over the budget.

Mostly, it was a quiet meeting for a board that had become accustomed over the summer and fall to raucous meetings and heated disputes between trustees.

But the mood changed during the last 30 minutes of the meeting when Trustee Connie Wardell repeatedly questioned Chairwoman Teresa Stroebe about the details in Superintendent Jack Copps’ new contract with the district.

Copps, who was the superintendent before Beeman, was hired earlier this month to serve as interim in Beeman’s absence.

Stroebe and SD2 attorney Jeff Weldon negotiated his contract without bringing it forward for a full vote by the board.

In a previous meeting, Stroebe had been authorized to do so.

Copps’ contract include $18,000 in salary and roughly another $1,000 for vacation days and sick leave.

Contact Rob Rogers at rrogers@billingsgazette.com or 657-1231.

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