By SVERRE BAKKE
Husum resident Dan Rawding will be officially sworn in as the newest member of the White Salmon Valley School Board tonight during the board's April monthly meeting.
The April 21 meeting will be held in the Columbia High School library and start at 7 p.m.
The district's four sitting school directors chose Rawding over two other candidates April 12 in a 3-1 vote that followed an 80-minute executive session with Superintendent Dale Palmer.
The other candidates for the School Board District 3 seat, which encompasses Husum, BZ Corner, Gilmer, and a portion of the Snowden area, were Craig Ferguson of Husum and Gilmer resident Kris Kreps.
Each candidate was asked to disclose background information about his education, qualifications, community involvement and experiences serving on decision-making boards, then answer the same prepared questions that sought opinions on such subjects as the district's strengths and weaknesses, the role of a school director, vocational education programs, and extracurricular activities.
The question-and-answer session, which took place in the school district office, took less than an hour.
After that, board members Bill Clack, Kristie Hurn, Josie Salka, and Tom Stevenson recessed to Palmer's adjacent office, where they discussed the candidates' answers and qualifications behind a closed door before reaching a consensus on a selection.
When they emerged, board members thanked each applicant for their interest and encouraged each to think about running for the position in November. They then took a roll call.
Stevenson led off for the majority, saying, "I'd be happy with all three of you guys on the board. You had great answers. But thinking about all the issues, I'm going to vote for Dan."
Salka and Clack joined Stevenson in forming the 3-1 majority in favor of Rawding. Hurn cast her vote for Kreps.
In explaining the vote, Stevenson said, "We had to come up with some sort of decision, and if we didn't come up with a majority decision, it was going to go to the ESD," Educational Service District 112 based in Vancouver, for a final resolution.
Rawding succeeds longtime board member Eric Shrum, who resigned the District 3 seat in February because he was leaving the school district to take a job in The Dalles. The elective office's four-year unexpired term runs out at the end of the year.
Rawding, who is married and has four children enrolled in local schools, will have to stand for election in the fall if he wishes to retain the office.
The native of Massachusetts came west in 1977 and subsequently graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in fisheries science. He is employed in the resource management field.