Hanson Selected to Replace Fern on Whitefish School Board

The school board on Jan. 17 voted 4-2 to appoint Shannon Hanson

By Dillon Tabish

The Whitefish School District Board of Trustees selected a replacement for Dave Fern, who stepped down last month before the state legislative session.

The school board on Jan. 17 voted 4-2 to appoint Shannon Hanson, who previously served two terms as a trustee.

Hanson joins the seven-member school board and will fill out the remainder of Fern’s term, which ends in May. Hanson indicated to the board that he plans on running for re-election in spring. Fern stepped down in December after 24 years after being elected in November to serve in state House District 5.

The trustees interviewed Hanson and Katie Clarke before voting Tuesday night. Josh Knight was also selected as a finalist but removed his name from consideration before the interview process.

After the interviews, a motion was made to select Hanson and trustees Ruth Harrison, Heather Vrentas, Marguerite Kaminski and Anna Deese voted in favor. Trustees Nick Polumbus and Shawn Watts were opposed.

For the last part of his previous term, Hanson served as vice chairman of the Whitefish School Board. He spent two terms on the state executive board for the Democratic Party and was appointed by former Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer to serve a two-year term on the e-government advisory board.

Hanson’s term will end in May along with Watts and Vrentas. The board of trustees is elected to represent the community in setting district policies, adopting the budget, placing tax levies and bond issues on the ballot, hiring personnel and addressing facility needs.

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