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Bend-La Pine School Board Chair Melissa Barnes Dholakia announces resignation to seek deputy superintendent job

Bend-La Pine School Board Chair Melissa Barnes Dholakia is resigning to seek deputy superintendent post
Bend-La Pine Schools
Bend-La Pine School Board Chair Melissa Barnes Dholakia is resigning to seek deputy superintendent post

Board seeking applications for vacant seat through May 29

BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Bend-La Pine School Board is seeking applications to fill a vacant seat, the at-large Zone 6 position, following the resignation of Board Chair Melissa Barnes Dholakia, who said she did so because she has applied to become the district's next deputy superintendent.

Barnes Dholakia, elected in 2019 and reelected in 2023, resigned effective last Thursday, citing her decision to apply for a position in the school district. Her decision was announced at Tuesday’s monthly board meeting.

“In order to ensure no perceived conflict of interest, I am resigning during this process,” Barnes Dholakia said in a statement. “While not required, I believe it to be best practice.”

She added, “I am proud of the policy and governance work we have put in place as a team over the last five years and believe this will serve the board well in ensuring a seamless governance transition.”

Barnes Dholakia applied for the deputy superintendent position, as current Deputy Superintendent Lora Nordquist is retiring June 30.

The other six members of the board voted Tuesday evening to declare the position vacant and approved a timeline for appointing a successor, who would serve through June 2025. The Zone 6 seat will be on the ballot again in May 2025 for a 2-year term, fulfilling the balance of the current 4-year term.

Applications for appointment to the vacant seat are due by May 29 at 4 p.m. A selection team will make its final candidate recommendation at the regular board meeting on June 18. The appointee will be sworn in and assume office at the board's July 9 meeting.

Applicants must reside within a Deschutes County voting precinct, have resided within a Deschutes County voting precinct for at least one year, reside within Bend-La Pine Schools’ attendance area and be registered to vote.

Visit the Board of Directors’ webpage for details on how to apply. Applicants must share a resume, residency attestation form from the webpage, and a letter of interest following the prompt on the website.

Also Tuesday, the Board voted to elect new officers to serve through June 30, 2024, the end of the fiscal year. Marcus LeGrand, who had been Vice Chair, will serve as Board Chair. Carrie McPherson Douglass will serve as Board Vice Chair.

Article Topic Follows: Education

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