Filling a Vacancy on the School Board

Filling a Vacancy on the School Board
Posted on 01/18/2018

After serving for the past eleven years, President Jay Fahl has resigned from his position on the School District of the Menomonie Area Board of Education. While Mr. Fahl’s years of dedicated service and leadership are appreciated, the district’s forward-thinking policies have the Board well-positioned for transferring leadership and filling the vacancy on the school district’s nine-member governing body.

According to SDMA board policy, Vice President David Styer is now promoted to the office of Board President. The corresponding vacancy in the vice president position, and any other officer vacancies caused by the reorganization, will be filled by the remaining school board members at a meeting scheduled for Monday, January 22. The terms for all officer positions on the school board expire in April, at which time the Board will conduct its annual reorganizational meeting for the upcoming year.

In addition to reorganizing leadership positions on the school board, Board members will also be tasked with filling the seat vacated by Fahl’s resignation. Because the vacancy occurred after notice of the 2018 spring election had already been published, the term for the appointment made to fill Fahl’s seat will last until the spring of 2019.

While Board members will finalize procedures at the next school board meeting, it is anticipated that the following process will be considered:

  • January 23- The vacancy will be publicly posted, and interested electors will be asked to submit a letter of application to the District Administrator.
  • February 7- Deadline for applications. A letter of application must be received electronically or delivered to the Administrative Service Center (251 Pine Ave. NE) no later than 4:00 p.m.
  • February 12- Board members will screen letters of application during a closed session meeting of the school board. Depending on the number of applications received and the qualifications of potential candidates, the Board may decide to reconvene in open session and consider an appointment that evening. If an appointment is not made following the closed session, names of any finalists to be considered on February 26 will be shared with the public and interviews may be scheduled by the Board as needed.
  • February 26- Prior to the regular school board meeting, Board members may interview candidates. During the regular school board meeting, the Board may consider a vote to appoint the new school board member.

Even though there is some flexibility anticipated for when the Board may make the appointment, it is expected that the new school board member will take the oath of office and begin his or her term at whichever meeting follows the appointment by the school board.

With three other seats up for election this April, some stakeholders might wonder how the appointment of a Board member could impact the upcoming school board election. If the Board appoints someone who is not currently on the ballot, that person will serve on the Board until April 2019. If the Board appoints one of the current school board candidates, that person would still be eligible for this spring’s election. A potential challenge could occur if an elector is both appointed to Fahl’s seat by the Board and a winner of a different seat through the April election. In that instance, the candidate would need to choose which seat he or she would like, and the Board would need to make a subsequent appointment to fill the remaining vacancy.

Should school families or community stakeholders have any questions or concerns related to changes on the SDMA school board, I invite you to visit me at the Administrative Service Center on Pine Avenue, or contact me at 715-232-1642. More information about our schools can be found on the school district website (, and I regularly post school-related information on Twitter ( and Facebook (