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November 29, 2011 > Nine to interview for New Haven Board appointment

Nine to interview for New Haven Board appointment

Submitted By Rick La Plante

All nine people who applied to fill an upcoming vacancy on the Board of Education are legally eligible to serve, the New Haven Unified School District recently announced, and all are being invited to interview for a provisional appointment.

Board member Kevin Harper is resigning, effective at the end of the calendar year, because he and his wife are moving out of the District. The Board decided to appoint a replacement to serve the remainder of Mr. Harper's term, until after the November 2012 election, when the seat will be one of three on the ballot.

Following the application deadline of November 17, Board President Michelle Matthews and Mr. Harper, in his role as Clerk, reviewed the applicants to confirm that they are legally eligible to serve. The applicants are:

Olga De Leonardis, a fair housing officer and former chief operating officer for Christian Church Homes Management Services in Oakland. A resident of Union City, she is the volunteer treasurer of Oakland Housing Initiatives, a low-income housing developer.

Merci Del Rosario, a scientist at Novartis Institutes for Biomedical Research. The mother of two sons who attended New Haven schools, she was active in James Logan High School's band program. She is a Union City resident.

Nick Fresquez, a retired Alameda County Transit employee who also served in the U.S. Army. He is a Union City resident.

Florence Graham, a retired correctional officer and mother of a daughter who attends Logan High. A Hayward resident, she serves as parent coordinator for the Logan forensics team and is a member of the New Haven Boosters Association.

Mark Guterman, a career consultant and the parent of a daughter who attended New Haven schools, graduating from Logan in 1999. A Union City resident, he was active on School Site Council at Alvarado Middle School and was involved in the District's strategic planning process.

Michael Ritchie, a marketing consultant and the father of two sons who attend Logan. A member of the New Haven Boosters Association and the New Haven Schools Foundation, the Union City resident served as School Site Council chair at Cesar Chavez Middle School and is a member of the SSC at Logan.

Amy Solis, a nurse practitioner and the mother of a daughter who attends Eastin Elementary School. She is a member of Eastin's Parent Teacher Club and a volunteer at the school. Solis lives in Union City.

Kate Sprotte, who has children at both Eastin Elementary and Alvarado Middle schools. A Union City resident, she manages the Vistas Arts Program and serves on the PTC at Eastin, volunteers in other activities at both Eastin and Alvarado Middle and also is involved with the Union City Kids' Zone.

Jeff Wang, director and an instructor at the Mathnasium Learning Center. A Union City resident, he has a son who attends Logan High and has helped coach New Haven students for mathematics competitions.

The candidates are being invited to interview before the full Board on Tuesday, November 29. The five sitting Board members will rate each interviewing candidate on answers to both the questions on the application and to questions posed by the Board during the interview. The Board will be given tabulated results and deliberate their choice, then formally vote on the appointment.

The successful candidate will be formally seated in January.

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