Wednesday, March 23, 2011

4 file for school board election

Incumbents Dahlgren and Parke not seeking to regain seats

Express Staff Writer

Friday's deadline came and went with only four candidates filing for three open seats on the Blaine County School District's board of trustees. Only one of three incumbents is seeking a return to the board.

Neither board Chair Julie Dahlgren nor Trustee Daniel Parke filed declarations of candidacy. Only incumbent Trustee Kathryn Graves, who was appointed to the five-seat board in 2010, filed to regain her Zone 3 post, which encompasses the north Hailey area.

Julie Dahlgren

Other candidates are Don Nurge, who filed for Dahlgren's Sun Valley and east Ketchum area Zone 5 position, and Hallie Kelly Star and Shawn Bennion, who both filed for the south Bellevue and Carey area Zone 1 post now held by Parke.

Kathryn Graves

Potential candidates still have until April 1 to file as write-in candidates. The election is scheduled for May 17.

In an interview Monday, Dahlgren, who has served on the board since 2003, confirmed that she won't be seeking a new term.

Don Nurge

"Basically, I'm not running because I've been eight years on the board," she said. "I believe in term limits. I've been in education for 42 years, the last eight on the school board, and I think it's time to retire.

"It's been a good ride. I've enjoyed my 42 years. I'm leaving behind an administration that's forward-looking. I feel very comfortable with the district and where it is, and I feel I've been part of that."

Hallie Kelly Star

Dahlgren, who has been board chair since 2009, will retain her seat until a new school board is impaneled in July.

"I've still got a lot on my plate between now and then," she said. "With all the changes coming to education, I've still got a lot to do. I'm still going to be around—don't worry about it—but I'm going to let someone else be a trustee."

Parke, who lives in Carey and has served as trustee since 2006, could not be reached for comment.

Bennion, who also lives in Carey, said Monday that he decided to run after he learned that Parke was not seeking to retain his seat.

"I want to keep a voice down in the Carey area," said Bennion, who has a first-grader and a preschooler enrolled at Carey School. "I think it's important to still have a seat down here."

Star, Bennion's election opponent, lives in Bellevue.

Terry Smith:

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