Members of the Coupeville School Board of Directors have appointed Glenda Merwine to fill the seat vacated last December by longtime school board member Carol Bishop.
Merwine is a familiar face to many, having served as the principal of Coupeville Elementary School and as the Director of Student Learning for the Coupeville School District.
She has spent her career in public education and told board members during a brief interview at Monday evening’s board meeting that she would relish a spot on the board.
“I truly have dedicated my professional life to children,” Merwine said. “I am extremely dedicated to public education and have a passion for it.”
The directors selected Merwine from a field of three candidates. Orson Christensen and Robin Hertlein also applied for the opening, making the choice a difficult one.
“This was not an easy decision,” said Board President Kathleen Anderson. “You all have strengths and would bring experience to the position.”
“Can I just say it’s delightful to be in a community that had three people apply for this board position,” said interim Superintendent Karen Koschak. “Generally it’s difficult to find people to volunteer for these positions.”
Board members had already scored the three candidates’ applications before the meeting.
During the interview process, candidates not being interviewed waited in the music room across the hall from the elementary school library, where board meetings are held.
Each candidate was asked the same 10 questions, which ranged from what three qualities they felt were necessary in a superintendent to the applicants’ knowledge of how schools were funded and under what circumstances board members could meet in executive session.
Again, board members assigned points to the candidates’ responses and the scores were totaled.
Following the last interview, board members met in executive session to make their decision. Merwine was immediately sworn in by Koschak.
During the interviews, each candidate said the most pressing issue is finding a superintendent.
“Any superintendent should have a heart for kids, excellent communication skills, both written and oral, and understand the budget process,” Merwine said.
Merwine will hold the at-large seat until 2015, when the term expires and the seat will be up for election.
The newly-appointed director said she is looking forward to serving on the board.
“I really truly am helping to pay back,” she said following the meeting. “Some of these people were on the board when I was a principal here and the director of student learning. They were always so giving of themselves and their time.
This is a wonderful opportunity to work with them.
“I’m extremely dedicated to this district and this is one more way I get to help,” she continued.