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Valparaiso School Board applications are valid until April 12


The Valparaiso City Council has begun the application process to appoint a new member to the Valparaiso School Board.

“Applications will be available online on March 1,” said Valparaiso City Council Member Emilie Hunt, D-At-large, who serves as the council liaison for Valparaiso schools.

“There is one member whose term has expired and the school board currently has two people who are considered Republicans and two who are considered Democrats. “So applicants for the 2024 school board appointment process can belong to any political party.”

The application is available at: https://www.ci.valparaiso.in.us/978/School-Board-Member-Appointment-Process.

Applications will be made until noon on April 12 and interviews will begin in May. Applicants must be at least 21 years old and live within Valparaiso city limits; State law requires the Valparaiso School Board to have at least one member from each political party. “Party affiliation” is determined by the last primary election in which the applicant voted. The term of appointment of a new member is four years.

Public interview questions from April 12-26 town hall website.

If four or fewer applications are received, all candidates will be interviewed. If more than four applications are received, the city council will meet in executive session on April 25 at 6 p.m. to select the four applicants to be interviewed and reduce the applicant pool to four.

On April 26, applicants will be notified of their interview date on May 6, and selected questions generated by the public will be sent to applicants by May 3.

Prior to the Council interviews, all applicants will be provided with questions to be asked at the first interview. All questions provided are the same for each applicant, except for the applicant who is an incumbent school board member. An incumbent will be given modified questions to reflect their current role on the school board.

Interviews will last 25 minutes each, and council members will be allowed to ask a follow-up question if time permits.

The first round of interviews, using a panel format, will be held May 6 at 6 p.m. at Valparaiso City Hall.

By May 17, a selection of possible questions from the city council will be sent to applicants in preparation for the discussions to be held by city council members on May 20 at 18:00.

Valparaiso City Attorney Patrick Lyp said the panel and interview portion during the second round of interviews will be limited to 90 minutes, and rules regarding the response time allowed to applicants are still to be determined.

After a 10-minute recess following the second round of talks, council members will reconvene to appoint a school board member, and each council member will vote for one name to be considered on the ballot.

After the Lyp counts the ballots, if there is a majority vote for a candidate, the candidate’s name is placed and nominated, followed by debate on the candidate’s merits. After the discussion, a vote will be taken and an election will be held.

If there is no majority vote for the candidate, a council member may propose two candidates for consideration, according to the guiding procedure. Following the debate, a motion to elect a candidate will be made and supported by additional debate followed by a final vote.

Philip Potempa is a freelance reporter for the Post-Tribune.


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