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Ashland School Board seeks to fill vacancy

The Ashland School Board is seeking candidates for an open board position after seven-year member Keith Massie announced plans to step down.

Massie, the former geographic information systems manager for the city of Medford, said he is moving out of Ashland to pursue a new job with the Lane Council of Governments in Eugene.

"I thoroughly enjoyed my time here serving the community," said Massie.

The board will make a formal announcement and approve Massie's departure at its April 14 meeting.

"It's a big loss for us," said board Chairman Jim Westrick. "He's our most senior board member."

Westrick said Massie's son attended school in the Ashland School District from kindergarten until his graduation in 2012.

"He has a wonderful perspective from that," said Westrick. "It's going to be hard to replace him."

The board began accepting applications Monday for the open position, which runs through July 2015.

An application form is available on the district website, www.ashland.k12.or.us.

Candidates need to be residents within the school district boundaries for at least the last year, and may not be a paid district employee.

Board members are volunteers. They are expected to attend two public meetings per month and periodic meetings with the superintendent, work on special committees and attend occasional fall and summer conferences.

Westrick said the best candidates for the school board are people excited about education and without personal agendas.

"The School Board works best when we have people passionate about education," said Westrick. "It's a unique job, and it's 100 percent volunteer, so it takes the right kind of person."

Interested candidates can see how the board operates by attending the next regularly scheduled meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, April 14, in the Ashland City Council Chambers, 1175 E. Main St.

At 7 p.m. Monday, April 21, the board will hold a question-and-answer session with interested board candidates at the district office.

The due date for applications is April 25. The board will vote to appoint a new member during its May 12 meeting.

Teresa Ristow is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Email her at teresa.ristow@gmail.com.