School Board Elections

Hays Post

The Hays school board was unable Monday night to come up with the four votes necessary to appoint a new person to a vacant school board seat.

The seat was vacated by Nuchelle Chance when she moved out of state.

Chance's term was set to expire in December. The board is not required by statute to appoint anyone to fill the vacancy because there is so little time remaining in the term.

The statute also does not stipulate how local school board seats are to be filled, Bill Jeter, board attorney told the board at an earlier meeting.

The district received six applications for the vacant seat. They included Cathy Hopkins, former small business owner; Derek Yarmer, physician; Meagan Zampieri-Lillpopp, librarian; Curt Vajnar, business owner, farmer and former teacher; Timothy Kershner, Nex-Tech employee; and Chris McGowne, attorney.

Hopkins, Zampieri-Lillpopp, Vajnar and McGowne appeared in person and were interviewed during the public meeting for the position. Yarmer was unable to attend in person. Yarmer submitted answers in writing and those were read aloud during the meeting. Kershner failed to return the board's questionnaire.

Prior to nominations all five of the board members present thanked those people who had applied.

Three motions were made to appoint someone to the position.

Board President Tammy Wellbrock nominated Zampieri-Lillpopp to take the vacant seat. Board member Allen Park said he wanted a candidate with more educational experience.

That motion failed on a vote of 2-3 with board members Allen Park, Lori Hertel and Craig Pallister voting against the nomination. 

Board member Lance Bickle was absent.

Craig Pallister nominated Curt Vajnar. That vote failed 2-3 with board members Wellbrock, Mike Walker and Lori Hertel voting against.

Hertel nominated Tim Kershner. Kershner failed to garner any votes.

Park made a motion to appoint the person who is the top vote-getter in the November election to take his or her seat early. He said the idea came from the Kansas Association of School Boards. That motion passed unanimously.

Of the applicants for the vacant seat, Hopkins, Vajnar and Zampieri-Lillpopp are running for a four-year term.

Also running for the seat are Ken Brooks, Casey Herrman and Thomas Wasinger. Nuchelle Chance filed to run in the election but will be ineligible to take the seat because she no longer lives in the district.

Election Day is Nov. 2. Advance voting begins on Oct. 18.