The Hermiston School District is seeking applicants following the resignation of board member Dave Smith at Monday’s regular board meeting.

Smith said he was unable to attend the meeting due to prior commitments, and the board read his letter of resignation in his absence.

“Mr. Smith always had the best interests of the students at heart,” said Board Chair Karen Sherman at the meeting. “I’m hoping he felt respected and valued.”

Smith, whose been with the board since 2011, said he was leaving his position due to the expansion of his restoration and cleaning business, O So Kleen.

He said he’d recently purchased existing restoration businesses in Spokane, Washington, and Lewiston, Idaho, and is busy getting situated with new employees and buildings.

“It’s important that someone (can) spend more time and energy than I was able to do,” he said.

Looking back through the years, Smith said one of the most challenging moments of his school board career came when the district voted to pull out of the InterMountain Educational Service District in 2015. He was one of two board members to oppose the move.

“I felt Eastern Oregon had a sense of community. When Hermiston was pulling out, I felt we let our community down,” he said. “Once the vote was passed, I supported it. For the district, it’s been very positive.”

As for highlights, Smith said graduation each year reminded him why he loved his work on the board. He said he felt particularly emotional this year, shaking hands with each student after they’d been handed their diploma.

“I knew that was probably going to be the last graduation,” he said.

In his letter of resignation, Smith stated he supports the upcoming district bond measure, which will be on the ballot this coming fall.

“A new elementary school will be on the fall ballot,” Smith stated. “This is an absolute critical bond decision that I support and I am very pleased the board is able to offer the Hermiston residents with no increase in taxes.”

Those interested in applying for the vacant school board position must complete and submit an application to the superintendent’s office by 3 p.m. Aug. 23.

Candidates will be interviewed on Aug. 26. The selected candidate will take the oath of office immediately and may run for election in May 2020 to fill the remaining term of office through June 2023.

Applicants can contact Briana Cortaberria at 541-667-6010 or for more information.

News Editor

Hermiston Herald news editor and reporter covering city government and economic development in Hermiston, Umatilla, Stanfield and Echo.

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