Ignacio’s Board of Education began interviewing new board candidates Tuesday to replace Doug Little, who resigned last month.
Little had his last meeting in January and ultimately decided to leave the board for personal health reasons, said Yvonne Chapman, the school board’s vice president. The remaining four Ignacio School District board members interviewed two candidates to fill the position, Gina Schulz and Lee Petty.
“It’s unfortunate, but he’s doing the right thing,” Chapman said. “He resigned for health reasons, and of course, we understand and respect that.”
Little did not respond to multiple requests for comment.
A former educator and coach, Little brought a valued perspective to the board, Chapman said. The fifth position can also be the tie-breaker in split votes on the board.
“We’ve had a few meetings without him, and it does change the balance of the board,” she said. “We certainly need a fifth person to keep that balance.”
The school board works with many community entities, and its members weigh a variety of issues, including curriculum design, budgeting and student welfare and success. The board also holds the superintendent responsible for managing the schools in accordance with the federal and state law and school board policy.
“We want somebody who is from the community and knows the resources and dynamics in the community,” Chapman said.
The ideal candidate is someone who is passionate about education, the kids and the overall betterment of the community. If they have experience serving on boards in the past, that’s a plus, she said.
Schulz ran for a school board seat in 2019. She has served as the board chairwoman of ELHI Community Center and vice chairwoman of the Ignacio Planning Commission.
Petty is a landscape architect with the city of Durango and an owner with Peak Land Design.
The new candidate will be sworn in May 13. The person will serve until elections in November.