Former board trustee Don Ryan

GREAT FALLS – The resignation of Don Ryan from the Great Falls Public Schools Board of Trustees has been officially accepted by the Board, and the GFPS posted the application for a new trustee on its website on Monday.

To apply, candidates must be a resident within district boundaries, be a registered voter, and be at least 18 years old.

The board encourages anyone who is interested in public schools and has a passion for education to apply.

The unpaid position involves making decisions regarding taxpayer money and the education of upcoming generations.

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Jeff Gray, the vice-chair of the Board, explained, “We’re a policy board, and we decide policies, we determine the budget. We as a board have no authority individually. We only have authority when we act all seven of us together. We only have one employee, that’s the Superintendent of Public Instruction here in Great Falls. The Superintendent then hires and fires all the other staff with board approval.”

Applications are due by noon on Monday, Oct. 23. A subcommittee will interview all the candidates that apply.

The committee will present their recommendation to the board on Nov. 9 and the board will vote on Nov. 13 to determine who will fill the position.

It is an interim position only, and whoever is chosen must run and be elected in the next Trustee election in May in order to fill or retain the seat.

Ryan submitted his resignation last month after he disagreed with the board on their decision to not rename Longfellow Elementary School in honor of Mike Mansfield.