Arrow-right Camera
News >  Features >  Washington Voices

WV board president to step down


West Valley school board director Debbie Hjortedal announced at Wednesday’s board meeting that she will resign her position at the end of February.

It’s something that she’s been thinking about for a while, Hjortedal said. She had always thought she would leave the board when her daughter graduated from high school, she said. “Here it is two years later, and I’m still here.

“It’s time for me to announce my resignation. It is with sadness, but it’s time for me to move on. It’s the right thing for me.”

Her fellow board members joked that they might vote not to accept her resignation to try to force her to stay. In the end, however, they accepted her request. “In case you change your mind, we can always rescind it,” said board member Jim Williams.

Hjortedal said she will stay on the board until February to give the board time to select a replacement. She has served on the board for 10 years, and her current term expires in November 2011.

The district will accept applications for a new District 4 board member for several weeks. If several applications are received, the board will conduct interviews before appointing a replacement to serve the remainder of Hjortedal’s term.

District 4 runs along the west side of the district, East of Rutter to Marietta, then south along Center to Trent, then east to Vista and south along Vista to Sprague. The eastern edge of District 4 is the school district’s border just east of Ness Elementary. A full description of the area is on the district’s Web site at

In other business

The board heard a report about the impacts of Gov. Chris Gregoire’s proposed budget released this week. Several cuts to education are included, including levy equalization money, I-728 money, all-day kindergarten, funding for additional teachers in grades K-4 and money for gifted education programs. If the budget were to be approved with no changes, West Valley would lose $1.9 million in state funds, Deputy Superintendent Doug Matson said. The district’s 2009-2010 budget is $35.5 million after a cut of $1.2 million in state funds received.

The board also elected Williams to be the board president for the coming year. Board member Robert Dompier will serve as vice president.