Alison Meryweather appointed to Issaquah School Board

March 20, 2013

By Lillian O'Rorke

New: March 20, 11:13 p.m.

Alison Meryweather is going to be the newest member of the Issaquah School Board.

The 49-year-old mother of two will fill the seat that was left vacant Jan. 9 when Chad Magendanz resigned to serve in the state Legislature.

The four remaining members of the board, ultimately voted 3-1 for Meryweather March 20, but not before the board first split the vote 2-2 between her and the competition: Lisa Callan.

“This is the awkward part,” said Brian Deagle, president of the board. “We have two candidates, four board members, two votes each.”

Meryweather and Callan were selected as the final two candidates after the board interviewed the original pool of five applicants for the seat March 6. The two returned March 20 for a second round of questioning. After posing its 11 final questions, most of them hypothetical, the school board adjourned into a 45-minute closed session to discuss Meryweather’s and Callan’s qualifications. In the public vote that followed, Marnie Maraldo and Anne Moore voted for Meryweather while Deagle and Suzanne Weaver voted for Callan.

“I could work with either one, but I feel very strongly about my decision,” Moore said.

If by April 9 – 90 days since the seat opened up the board had still not come up with three votes for one individual, the decision would have gone to the Puget Sound Educational Service District.

“I believe both candidates are qualified.” Deagle said. “I want us to make this decision. I don’t want an outside board that doesn’t know Issaquah to make this decision. And I also want us to be full board as soon as possible.”

The board voted again. This time Deagle changed his vote to Meryweather.

“For over a decade I have demonstrated my commitment to this district,” Meryweather said. “I believe strongly that I have all the candidate criteria to be a successful board member.”

Afterward, she shook Callan’s hand on the way out and told her she would see her again in November.

Meryweather will now serve out the rest of Magendanz’s term. The seat will be on the ballot in November 2013.

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