Schools - June 8, 2011

Menlo school district board to appoint new member

by Renee Batti

District residents hoping to win a seat on the Menlo Park City School District Board will be assessed on a range of criteria, including their understanding of public school law, curriculum, financing and challenges, and of the district's specific challenges, according to criteria crafted by the school board on May 31.

The board voted unanimously to appoint a member to replace Mark Box, who has resigned from his post, effective June 30, to move to Spain. The board rejected the option of allowing voters to choose the new member in November, an election that would have cost the district an estimated $45,000, according to Superintendent Ken Ranella.

District residents wishing to serve out Mr. Box's term — from July 1, 2011, to early December 2012 — have until 4:30 p.m. Friday, June 17, to submit an application to the district office at 181 Encinal Ave., Atherton, 94027.

The board will interview the candidates on Tuesday, June 21, during a public meeting. It will choose the new member at the same meeting, after the interviews.

Mr. Ranella said he will hold a meeting for potential candidates at 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 8, in the district office board room. During the meeting, he will "explain the level of commitment that board service requires" and answer questions about the application process, he said in a written notice. He can also meet with potential candidates by appointment, he added.

One district parent who has already expressed her interest in the appointment is Ana Uribe Ruiz, who ran for a seat last November. She received about 2,250 votes, or about 16 percent, in the four-person race for three open seats.

To apply for the open seat, a district resident must be a registered voter, and must submit a candidate statement of no more than 400 words that includes a "statement of purpose and description of qualifications along with any other relevant information for board consideration, according to the district.

In addition to an understanding of public school law and challenges, candidates will be asked to state, among other things, their degree of "leadership experience in their profession or within public service with particular emphasis on previous contributions within the Menlo Park City School District," according to the superintendent's notice.

Go to and scroll down on the home page to review all the criteria the board plans to use to review candidate qualifications, and for complete information on applying for the position.


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