Valorie Nelson (KCAW photo)

One applicant has submitted a letter of interest to serve out a vacant term on the Sitka School Board. Former assembly member and mayor Valorie Nelson was the only person to provide a letter to the district office by the May 20 deadline.

The school board will interview Nelson at its June 1 meeting, and is scheduled to make a decision on the appointment that evening. The board is not obligated to appoint Nelson, and may choose to extend the deadline in order to attract a broader pool of applicants. 

Nelson retired as a budget analyst with the Forest Service two years ago, and remains a self-employed bookkeeper. She’s served three previous terms on the Sitka Assembly, the most recent from 2018 to 2021. She was mayor of Sitka for two years, from 2000 to 2002.

Nelson told KCAW that she only submitted her name to help, and she wasn’t planning on running for the seat this fall. She describes herself as a long-term resident who’s aware of the issues facing the school district, like the renaming of Baranof School, budget concerns, and the possible hike in the price for school meals next year.

The vacancy on the Sitka School Board was created by the resignation earlier this month of board president Amy Morrison, who is moving out of Sitka. Morrison served almost two full terms on the board. The appointee will serve until Sitka’s municipal election this October.