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School directors fill vacant board position
The Enumclaw School Board selected Tamarah Knapp-Hancock to fill its Position No. 2 vacated by Cathy Dahlquist.
After interviews and discussion Thursday evening, Knapp-Hancock was the board’s pick with a 3-1 vote. Board President Chris VanHoof cast the dissenting vote, stating Knapp-Hancock would draw heat for not having students in the school district.
Knapp-Hancock said her children received an incredible education as elementary and middle school students with the district, but, they, the students, wanted other high school options. She said it was difficult, but as parents, she and her husband supported their children’s independence and initiative.
Knapp previously served as Buckley’s city administrator and is now a construction company attorney. The majority of the school board believed her professional qualifications, along with her children’s choice of secondary education (private and boarding schools) and her passion for education would bring a different voice to the board.
“I think education is one of the most important things we can do for our kids,” Knapp-Hancock said in her interview.
She also said she has a desire to contribute to the community she lives in and has been extremely supportive through the years.
“Education is important. It opens doors four all our kids. It makes our community stronger and it sustains our democracy,” Knapp-Hancock said. “I’m here because I’m a parent. I care about my kids and my neighbors’ kids.”
The board was called upon to interview candidates and appoint someone to the position after Dahlquist was elected to the state House of Representatives in November and decided to resign her position.
The board also interviewed April Schroeder and Bryan Garton, both parents with children in the district and active members in either PTA or with the levy committee.
“We can’t go wrong with this decision,” VanHoof said before the board began open-meeting discussion of each candidate.
To retain the seat for the following two years, Knapp-Hancock will have to file in June and run in the August primary and then the November general election.
Merrill said it is incredibly difficult and humbling to make the decision for the district.
“I believe Tamarah could do a good job,” Merrill said. “I believe April could do a good job. I believe Bryan could do a good job.”
The final decision was the best thing for the district, Merrill said, noting Knapp-Hancock’s professional background especially could not be ignored.