Petelle Nears End Of School Board Term

Laura Petelle's term as Dist. 150 school board member expires June 30th.

Petelle says serving on the board the past five years has been her most educational experience.

"I don't mean that in a sarcastic way," Petelle tells 1470 & 100.3 WMBD. "It's just been an incredible education in how things work, education, managing an organization. I have learned so much and I have met so many people. It's been fantastic."

Petelle says she's especially learned a lot about children in poverty.

"Specifically the help they need that is realistic," Petelle says. "Sometimes what we think is the best idea does not actually work out. (I've learned more about) the ways we should be attacking those issues and helping the children in the community who are very needy."

Petelle was defeated in March by Sue Wolstenholm in her bid for re-election. However, Wolstenholm dropped out of the school board race too late to get her name off the ballot.

The election was in the wake of the reassignment of Charter Oak Primary School principal John Wetterauer and two teachers over ISAT testing irregularities. Wetterauer has since resigned from the district.

The group Change150, which was formed as a result of the controversy, campaigned on behalf of Wolstenholm's name urging voters to oust Petelle to send a message to the school board and administration concerning their leadership. Wolstenholm got 69 percent of the vote.

Petelle says she's not holding any grudges, saying, "I think that's just politics."

Wostenholm, who still says she will not serve on the board, must submit her resignation to the school board secretary.

Should Wolstenholm resign on or before June 30th, the day Petelle's term expires, the board will have 45 days starting July 1 to fill the vacancy. Otherwise, the 45-day clock will start once Wolstenholm resigns, if she resigns after July 1.

However, in that case, there is still an issue how long the board can allow Wolstenholm to be a no-show and keep the seat vacant before it legally can force the issue. Board members contacted by 1470 & 100.3 WMBD are quietly confident it won't get to that.

Whoever is appointed to the board will serve until the school board election next Spring. The winner then will serve the remainder of the new five year term until 2019.

The board is expected to begin an application and interview process to fill Petelle's vacancy once it's created.

Petelle will not say if she will apply to fill her own vacancy.

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Topics : Education
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People : John WetterauerLaura PetelleSue Wolstenholm
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