Hamilton says goodbye to school board
The Roaring Fork School board bid farewell to Matt Hamilton, who is leaving the board after more than seven years to take a job in Denver.
“It’s been a tremendous joy for me to be part of this for the past seven and a half years,” Hamilton said at his final meeting Wednesday.
Current board members and school administration staff thanked Hamilton for his work in a resolution honoring his time on the board of education.
Superintendent Rob Stein said Hamilton “has a vision and passion for a kind of learning that puts students at the center. He believes sincerely in hearing all voices.”
“I am grateful to Matt for teaching me how to ask the fierce questions while maintaining an atmosphere of respect,” board chair Jen Rupert said.
Hamilton joked that his work on the board may have rankled some.
“I had a friend from graduate school, who shall remain nameless, who always issued a blanket apology before he went out on Friday nights. To everybody he saw he issued a blanket apology ahead of time. I probably should have done that seven and a half years ago,” Hamilton said.
“But I hope you all know, at the end of the day… everyone who serves in this role does it because we want to serve,” he added.
Hamilton announced he would be leaving the board of education in May, stating that his new role with VF Corporation, a Denver-based apparel company whose brands include The North Face, Dickies, Timberland and Vans, would preclude him from serving on the board.
Hamilton’s board seat, which covers about half of Carbondale, was already up for election in November. The district plans to appoint a replacement for the few months before the election.
The school board is asking those interested in filling the seat through the election to fill out an application by Aug. 18. The board will hold a special public meeting to consider interim candidates.
Some board members thought it would be confusing to ask people interested in the seat to fill out both an election form, and apply to be appointed for the two months leading up to the election.
At a board of education meeting in May, the board discussed the options of leaving the seat open until the election, but decided to follow the processes in their bylaws despite the odd timing.
State law says a school board must fill a vacant seat 60 days after the vacancy is declared. The board will declare a vacancy at its next regular meeting in August.
To be eligible for the board, a person must reside in the open district and be a registered elector in that area for at least 12 months.
The other two school board seats up for election in November are District C, covering south Glenwood Springs and currently held by Mary Elizabeth Geiger, and District D, covering downtown and West Glenwood, currently held by Shane Larson.
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Basalt High School students view the Roaring Fork Valley and learn about the watershed from EcoFlight’s educational plane trips.