Published DateBELMONT — The two people who hope to fill the Shaker Regional School Board seat being vacated by long-serving Chair Pret Tuthill were questioned last week by remaining board members who will decide who fills the final year of a three-year term.
Because Tuthill resigned too late for his seat to be on this year's school district ballot, the seat must be filled by the board, which chose to do open interviews and decide who will get the seat tonight.
Gretta Olsen-Wilder, who went first by virtue of a coin toss, has served on the Shaker School Board — again taking over a seat that was vacated mid-term a few years ago. She has two children — one of whom is a high school senior. She works for Citizens Bank.
Olsen-Wilder said she learned a lot about special education during her previous term and how it can effect a budget. She also said if she were chosen she would like to spend time with the curriculum director.
During her previous service, Olsen-Wilder served on the Building and Grounds Ground Committee. She said if chosen she would like to learn more about how the budget is developed because she didn't serve on that committee before and the budget is largely prepared when it gets to the full board.
She said she signed the petition to put the creation of a Budget Committee on Friday's warrant and would support whatever decision made by the voters. She said she hopes that if a Budget Committee is created that people don't expect its members to go and find money in the school budget and slash it.
When asked, she also said that if the board came to a majority decision about something with which she disagrees, she would voice her opinion at the board level but publicly support the board in its decision.
Sunday Dearborn has two children — one of whom is in kindergarten. She owns Jump N Joy and has worked for two previous school districts and Fidelity Insurance Company as a computer hardware developer.
She said she thinks the school board oversees everything that the school does and "makes sure the kids and teachers get what the need."
She said she pays taxes like everyone else and is sensitive to taxpayers. Like Olsen-Wilder, Dearborn has some grant-writing experience and said it and fund-raising should be something a School Board encourages.
When asked about her volunteer activities, she said she assists at the WLNH Children's Auction, is a softball coach and works on making wish lists for families who have suffered losses like one of her neighbors who just lost their home in a fire.
The two women differed to some degree about security. While both said it is an priority, Olsen-Wilder said she is happy to see some of the upgrades done to the locks on the school but wouldn't want it to go so far as to install metal detectors or see armed teachers.
Dearborn said she thought there should be an armed police officer at each school.
When asked if she would trade four teachers for four cops, she agreed that was a tough question and didn't really have an answer. She said she would not be opposed to arming the principal in each building.