South Lake looking to fill board vacancy

By: Kristyne E. Demske | St. Clair Shores Sentinel | Published January 21, 2016


South Lake Schools is looking for those wanting to serve the district’s children and shape the future of the schools on its Board of Education.

Board of Education President Ellen Dunn stepped down at the end of 2015, although her term ran through the end of 2016 because of changes in state law.

Dunn was first elected to the board in 2007 and was reelected to a four-year term in 2011. After that, however, the district was forced to move school board elections to even-year November elections and changed school board terms to 6-year terms in 2012, said Cathy Phillips, administrative assistant in the South Lake Business Office.

Dunn’s term at that time was lengthened by one year to bring it in line with the even-year election cycle.

Superintendent Pam Balint, however, said that Dunn decided she wanted to serve the term to which voters had elected her.

“She completed her second term Dec. 31 and she had decided that she would complete what the voters had elected her for rather than the extension we had to do with all of our board members based on the change in (state law),” Balint said. “It forced us to have to extend our board members’ terms in order to comply with the next election cycle.”

Now, the district is putting out a call for those interested in applying to fill Dunn’s seat for the remainder of her term to apply before Jan. 28. Those eligible for the position are United State’s citizens 18 years and older who have lived in Michigan for at least 30 days and live in the South Lake Schools boundaries. Those interested must submit a letter describing why they are interested in serving on the Board of Education and what their qualifications are to the district administrative office no later than 4 p.m. Jan. 28. A resume is also requested, if possible.

The board will schedule interviews with selected candidates after reviewing the letters received. Not all candidates will be interviewed.

Balint said the district’s next meeting is Feb. 17 and they want to have a board member sworn in before that date. The new person will serve on the board until the Nov. 8 election.

A good candidate will be committed to public education and the community, and be civic minded, Balint said. She said they must also be willing to give of their personal time for the betterment of the district.

“They have to be open-minded and sometimes put aside their own interest for the greater good,” she said. “It’s a very different role. They also need, I think, to be willing to continually grow their own knowledge of being a good board member. They have to be ... eager to learn.”

To apply for the open Board of Education seat, sent a letter of interest to South Lake Schools Administration, 23101 Stadium Boulevard, St. Clair Shores, MI 48080. The letter should include a contact phone number and email address. Anyone with questions about the role should contact Veda Hall, administrative assistant to the superintendent, at (586) 435-1602.