St. Paul, Minn. (January 12, 2011) – Neng Lee and Avinash Viswanathan were listed among 10 candidates to be interviewed as finalists to fill a vacant Saint Paul Public School Board seat. The announcement came late Wednesday after nearly five hours of candidate interviews. Neng Lee was a 2007 co-chair of the Kazoua Kong Thao SPPS School Board campaign together with Kathleen Vellenga. Viswanathan is an attorney.
The remaining nine finalists are: Ted Davis, Amy Walker Filice, Anne Kelly, Tim Lee, David Martinez, Luis Ortega, Dave Pinto, Jeff Risberg.
The candidates were chosen from a list of 41 applicants who had applied for the seat which was vacated in December 2010, when newly elected board member Vallay Varro resigned to take a position as the executive director at Minnesota Campaign for Achievement Now, a nonprofit organization that will work as an advocate for schools.
Bee Xiong and Michael Yang were among the 31 semifinalists.
“We were excited by the overwhelming interest in the seat,” said Board Chair Elona Street-Stewart. “But as we sat through the interviews and listened to the applicants’ presentations, we became even more invigorated by the prospect of working with such high-quality individuals.”
The finalists will go through a second round of interviews scheduled to take place Wednesday, February 2, 2011 at 5:00 p.m, after which the Board will make its determination of an appointee. The new Board member will be formally seated at the regularly scheduled Board of Education meeting Tuesday, Feb. 15, 2011.
“We congratulate the finalists,” Street-Stewart said. “We also look forward to working with the other applicants as engaged citizens who demonstrated a clear passion for education, Saint Paul Public Schools and for our students.”
For more information visit www.boe.spps.org.