Grand Rapids school board selects 3 finalist candidates for vacant seat

GRAND RAPIDS, MI – The Grand Rapids Board of Education has selected three finalists for consideration in the search to fill a vacant seat on the school board.

The three candidates will be at the board’s next meeting, on Monday, Dec. 19, for public interviews, according to a GRPS announcement. The board is expected to select a final candidate that same day.

The finalists are Jordoun Eatman, Vice President of Engagement and Inclusion for Experience Grand Rapids; Travis Steffens, Success Coach at Grand Rapids Community College; and Shanda Vaughn, Recipient Rights Officer for Pine Rest Christian Mental Health Services.

The deadline to submit an application for the open seat was noon on Saturday, Dec. 10. The district said 19 qualified candidates applied to fill the vacancy.

Board member Kristian Grant announced her resignation on Dec. 4, creating an opening on the nine-member school board. Grant is leaving the board to serve on the state House of Representatives after she was elected to represent the state’s 82nd District in the Nov. 8 general election.

Grant said she had decided not to leave her seat before the November election because she wanted to help close out the first phase of the district’s ongoing facilities master plan. At her final board meeting on Monday, Grant voted on a framework that will help guide that process in the coming years.

The new member appointed by the board will join three other newcomers on the Grand Rapids Board of Education at the start of the new year. Sara Melton, Jose Rodriguez and Aarie Wade were elected to the board in the Nov. 8 election and will officially join the school board in January.

Monday’s board meeting will be held at the district office located at 1331 Martin Luther King Jr. St. It starts at 5:30 pm

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