St. Maries resident Jody Terrell will serve as interim school board trustee for Zone 5 through the end of the year.

St. Maries trustees selected an interim trustee to fill the Zone 5 position Aug. 28 after conducting interviews with two candidates. The zone has been vacant since Devon Barta resigned from the post, as she no longer resided in Zone 5.

After interviews were completed, trustees voted to appoint Mrs. Terrell to the position.

“It was an extremely difficult decision for them,” Superintendent Alica Holthaus said. “They were both outstanding candidates and brought so much to the table.”

Mrs. Terrell, a former resident of Texas, has lived both part-time and full-time in St. Maries since 2014. She moved to the area with her husband, Brad, a retired Dallas police officer, and their dog Zinny. She worked as a teacher at the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas until she retired in 2016. Even after her official retirement, however, she continued to work with the university for another two years at their request.

She said she wanted to continue her service to her new home. Since she arrived, she has been a participant in several community organizations, including Timber Plus and BetterCARE.

“A friend of mine, when we moved here, said if you move here, you’ve got to help the community,” she said. “I’ve been looking for a hole that I could plug to help out.”

Since she was selected, Mrs. Terrell said she has been learning more about Zone 5, as well as meeting the people she will represent.

“We’ve gotten to know a few of our neighbors, which is refreshing,” she said. “The kids I’ve met here in St. Maries are a whole lot more respectful than many I’ve known before. I know the school board here has issues they work to solve, and I have a lot of respect for the work they’ve done.”

The election for a permanent board trustee to fill the position will be November 5. Mrs. Terrell will serve in her interim position through at least early January, when the winner of that election is set to take office. She said she intends to run for the permanent position.

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