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School board appointment will be made Sept. 27

POULSBO — Four North Kitsap residents were interviewed Wednesday for the fifth spot on the North Kitsap School Board.

The board will, on Sept. 27, appoint one of them to the District 3 director position left vacant by Kathleen Dassel’s resignation.

The candidates are Kenneth Ames of Poulsbo, William (Bill) Hawkes of Suquamish, Dennis Kilpatrick of Indianola and Beth Worthington of Suquamish.

The person appointed will complete Dassel’s term, which expires at the end of 2013. The appointed board member will be required to run for election if he or she wishes to continue serving.

Dassel resigned Aug. 27 citing “constraints of family matters.” District 2 board member Dan Weedin succeeded Dassel as board president; District 4 board member Scott Henden is vice president.

The deadline to apply for the vacant position was Sept. 12.

District 3 includes a portion of Poulsbo, Suquamish, Indianola and Kingston. The applicants must live within the boundaries.

Kenneth Ames

Kenneth Ames originally planned to run for the District 3 board position in the 2009 election. Citing family commitments, Ames backed out.

Now with more free time, Ames “decided to throw the hat in the ring.”

Ames moved from the South Kitsap area to Poulsbo in 2001.

Ames lived in South Kitsap since 1979. He raised three children who graduated from South Kitsap High School.

He served on the South Kitsap School Board for eight years and the state Board of Education for one year.

With his experience, he said he could skip having to learn the “jargon” that goes along with being a board member.

Ames sees declining enrollment and funding as the two biggest issues facing the North Kitsap School District. The work being done to close a school — and the committee working on it — is also an important subject, he said.

Ames works at the Puget Sound Naval Shipyard as a project planning engineer.

If appointed, he would run for election once the term expires in 2013.

William (Bill) Hawkes

William Hawkes believes it’s important to be involved in the community, which includes the school district.

Now retired, Hawkes said he can devote as much time as needed toward the school board. He retired last year.

Hawkes has lived in Suquamish since 1999. He is a GED tutor and, for more than three years, a mentor at Suquamish Elementary.

Hawkes has worked on a number of appointed positions, including an economic development committee and library board. He has not worked in an elected position.

If elected, Hawkes said he would try to represent the district as well as he could and help with outreach to increase interest in the school district and help slow declining enrollment. This would include being available for public meetings.

In addition to declining enrollment, Hawkes has concerns about dropout rates.

Hawkes was a banker for 28 years and then 11 years for the state Department of Transportation as a highway maintenance worker — he was tired of a desk job.

If appointed, he would run for election once the term expires in 2013.

Dennis Kilpatrick

Dennis Kilpatrick’s primary motivation to work on the North Kitsap School Board is being a parent of children in the district.

“I’m just a parent interested in being involved and knowing what’s going on,” he said.

Kilpatrick, the Republican precinct committee officer for Indianola, has lived in the area for just over three years.

Kilpatrick said current issues in the school district reflect that of the entire country. This includes proper budgeting and being fiscally conservative while accomplishing goals. He said he still had “homework” to do when it comes to specific issues facing the district.

Kilpatrick is also a committee member of the Indianola Beach Improvement Club.

He said he knows what it takes to be on a board, which includes patience  because things don’t always move as quickly as people might want them to, he said. Kilpatrick said he cooperates well with others.

If appointed, he would run for election once the term expires in 2013.

Beth Worthington

Always having had an interest in education, Beth Worthington didn’t actually think about applying for the school board position until her neighbor recommended it.

Worthington, an 18-year Suquamish resident, has one child in the district at the high school level. Her second child graduated from the district and is now in college.

Funding in the district is Worthington’s biggest concern. She said with a shrinking student population, trying to “stay afloat” while creating value in the district is important.

Issues surrounding school closure is also an important topic the board must deal with.

Having Suquamish Elementary as her family’s “home school,” Worthington said the relationship between the Suquamish Tribe and school district “has been great.” She said the community needs to continue to be made aware of the district and Tribe’s relationship.

Worthington works as a contractor for the Navy as the head of an engineering department.

She has not run for a school board or any other elected position in the past.

If appointed, she would “have to wait and see” if she wanted to run for election once the term expires in 2013.

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