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Vancouver Public Schools accepting applications for board vacancy

Want to serve on the Vancouver Public Schools Board of Directors for four months? Now’s your chance.

Clark County’s second-largest school district is now collecting applications for the seat vacated at the end of July by Michelle Giovannozzi. Applications can be found by visiting the district website,, by calling the district at 360-313-1200 or by visiting the Jim Parsley Administrative Center at 2901 Falk Road, Vancouver. Applications are due by 5 p.m. Monday.

Giovannozzi announced her early departure from the board this summer, triggering an appointment process that coincides with an unusually active election. School district policy is to appoint someone who lives within the boundaries of the district and who is eligible to vote. School district employees and, in most cases, their spouses are ineligible, but there are no other restrictions on who can apply.

The position only runs through the remainder of 2019, but one of the six candidates who will make it through today’s primary election could feasibly apply and end up on the board. That could make them a de facto incumbent before the November election.

Seven of the 11 newcomers running signed a pledge agreeing not to apply: Caressa Milgrove, Tracie Barrows, Lindsey Luis, Jennifer Hawks-Conright, Scott Dalesandro, Lisa Messer, and Kathy Decker. Kyle Sproul also said she did not intend to apply for the position. Candidates Thomas Higdon, Chris Lewis and Robert Stewart have made no such declaration.

Board director Wendy Smith, a teacher at Heritage High School in Evergreen Public Schools, voiced concerns last month that the board could give an edge to a candidate by appointing someone running for office. Her concerns were largely dismissed by her fellow board members, who said they trust voters to make the right choice regardless of the appointment process.

The sitting school board is slated to select the new member by Aug. 21, and they will be sworn in on Aug. 27.


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