After more than an hour of public interviews and deliberations, members of the William S. Hart Union High School District Governing Board selected Cherise Moore as the newest board member to fill the board’s vacant Trustee Area 3.
“I’m overwhelmed, I’m excited. It feels amazing to get to serve in this way in the district that I love,” Moore said after her provisional appointment. “I’m most looking forward to continuing the good work the board has done and serving in this amazing district.”
Three of the four governing board members—Linda Storli, Steve Sturgeon and Joe Messina—selected Moore on their individual ballots for the appointment. However, the decision to appoint her after the ballots were counted was unanimous.
A total of five candidates—TimBen Boydston, Kenneth Dean, Cherise Moore, Hilary Schardein and Teresa Todd—were still in the running for the board seat Wednesday. Applicants Ann-Marie Bjorkman and Noe Garcia had dropped out of the race Monday and Tuesday, respectively.
The board seat was made available by the resignation of Rob Hall who stepped down to take a 15-month assignment with his company’s Singapore office.
Moore will hold her position on the board for the remainder of Hall’s term, set to end in December 2018. She will take her oath of office at the beginning of the Hart Board’s following meeting April 19.
The five applicants were interviewed in 10-minute sessions with questions they were provided with ahead of time. They sat in the Hart District staff room during prior interviews, but were permitted to sit in the boardroom once their interview was completed.
Each applicant gave a “campaign speech” and a closing statement, in addition to answering questions about their own personal strengths, their thoughts on prior board decisions, managing the district’s large operating budget and capital budget, communicating with members of the public and deciding where to increase or decrease district spending.
“I’m here because I want to make a difference in the community through serving the public,” Moore said. “I truly understand the value and benefits of public education and want to make sure that our students have access to an amazing education, and the taxpayers have a great return on their investment.”
Moore has 30 years of experience working in education as a classified employee, teacher, site-level administrator and district administrator. She holds a bachelor’s degree in political science, a master’s degree in urban planning, a master’s degree in educational administration and a Ph.D. in Public Administration from ASU.
Currently, she acts as a senior researcher for the American Institutes for Research (AIR) where she works on national and state level projects in postsecondary education, adult education and career technical education for administrators and teachers.
“My professional experience has provided me with the depth of knowledge that I believe truly prepares me for this position,” she said. “I see this, based on the work that I’ve done before, as being sort of a culminating experience for me, as it is the right time and the right moment for the district.”
Moore also has experience working in the Hart District as an interim administrator at Golden Oak Adult School, a board member of the Golden Valley High School Parent Advisory Committee and a board member of the WiSH Education Foundation.
She also currently serves as a Hart District Career and College Readiness teacher, a position she will now be resigning from in light of her new appointment to the board.
“I’m a public education advocate, I know the value of a public education and I understand the tradition of excellence we have here,” Moore said.
During her interview, Moore also noted her knowledge or education code and law, budgetary and fiscal management, specialized programs, adult education, English Learners, school accountability and the Local Control Funding Formula.
Jayme Allsman, president of the Hart District teacher association, also spoke before the board’s decision to voice her support for Moore, as she was the only candidate who reached out to the teachers’ association to have an open discussion about the future and current issues facing the district.
“She came to our office and spent time in in-depth conversation,” Allsman said. “That willingness to spend the time demonstrates the understanding of the relationship between teachers and the board and how that impacts our students.”
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