The Jeffco school board is taking applications from South Jeffco residents interested in replacing board member Vince Chowdhury, who resigned Aug. 21.
Chowdhury announced Aug. 19 he was leaving the board after nearly eight years following a July 8 guilty plea to third-degree assault. The plea came after his arrest June 17 on suspicion of slapping and choking his 16-year-old daughter. The board had passed a resolution July 8 urging him to resign.
Chowdhury represented District 5, which includes the Columbine, Chatfield and Dakota Ridge areas of South Jeffco. The board has 60 days to appoint someone to serve the rest of his term, which ends in 2009. Interested Jeffco residents should submit a letter of interest to the board by Sept. 3.
"I think we're looking for somebody that will work well with and add some value to the board," said board President Scott Benefield, "certainly looking for someone that's real interested in improving student education."
Benefield said candidates should be able to communicate well and create lasting relationships with fellow board members, in the schools and in the community.
"Without having good relationships, you aren't able to learn everything you need to," Benefield said. "Nobody comes in here knowing everything they need to know right way. You've almost got to learn as you go."
A seat on the school board is a big time commitment, Benefield said.
"People don't realize the amount of time it takes," Benefield said, noting that he spends at least 25 hours per week on board-related activities.
Candidates don’t necessarily need to have experience in education, Benefield said.
"Perhaps a banker, who is great at managing finances, even someone from the (Parent Teacher Association) who understands the community and the schools," Benefield said. “Really, it's just caring about kids and quality schools and really having that as your basis."
Board members will formulate a list of questions they will ask finalists after reviewing resumes to narrow the pool of applicants, Benefield said.