MORAGA -- Citing the need for a fresh perspective on the governing board, Moraga School District trustees have appointed a new member to fill a vacancy left by longtime trustee Dexter Louie, whose surprise resignation rocked the district in November.
School board President Charles MacNulty, Vice President Kathy Ranstrom and trustees Kym Leserman and Shari Simon elected Parker Colvin to the school board Thursday in a provisional appointment that will last two years. Colvin will need to run for election in November 2014 if he wishes to keep his board seat.
The 33-year-old public finance investment banking underwriter and father of three made an unsuccessful bid for a board seat in November. The four-member board decided earlier this month to appoint a new trustee rather than hold an election, citing a $60,000 election cost and other factors.
Also seeking appointment was Irwin Tallarico, a longtime educator and former Moraga elementary schools principal, who told trustees his experience would bring a different perspective to discussions.
"The important thing I think is that is every school board have a diverse population and not simply parents or grandparents or just business people," Tallarico said.
Colvin said he wanted to help address a number of issues facing the district, including state funding, implementation of new curriculum and common core standards and depleted parcel tax reserves.
After taking statements,
"It needs to be settled in a compassionate and decent way," he said. "It is the best way to help (the victims) to heal and help our community to heal even if some of the people were not here at the time those things happened."
After Colvin was elected, he was sworn in by Superintendent Bruce Burns.
The board's decision caps a tumultuous month and a half since former board President Louie resigned almost immediately after his re-election.
Since Louie's resignation, another "Jane Doe" has filed a claim asserting mandated-reporting failures in the 1990s, joining three former students, including assistant UC Berkeley swim coach Kristen Cunnane, who have filed claims against the district and former educators. The board has said it will address the claims in mediation scheduled for late January.