The vacant seat on West Valley School District’s board has been filled by longtime resident and district graduate Adam Mortensen.
Superintendent Gene Sementi said Mortensen has a deep history with the community.
The 33-year-old grew up in West Valley, just like his parents, and graduated from West Valley High School in 1997.
When Sementi gave Mortensen the oath of office, it wasn’t the first time the two had met. The superintendent has known Mortensen since the early 1990s when Sementi was Centennial Middle School’s assistant principal and Mortensen was a student there.
“He was just a really optimistic kid,” Sementi said. “He got along with everybody – a bright worker and (he) wanted to know how everything worked.”
Mortensen graduated from Washington State University with an engineering degree, district spokeswoman Sue Shields said, and now works at Hi-Rel Laboratories.
His wife, Amanda, teaches math in the Central Valley School District. They have two young sons who will also attend West Valley, Shields said.
The district received three applications, including Mortensen’s, but the other two applicants did not live within District 4, Sementi said.
District 4 covers an area near Seth Woodard and Orchard Center elementary schools.
Mortensen replaces Sam Andrews, who recently took a job with the district’s accounting and payroll office. Andrews resigned to avoid a conflict of interest.
Mortensen’s place on the board is temporary until the November general election, but he can choose to run for the seat.
The other applicants, Sementi said, will participate in the district’s strategic planning meeting on March 28 to help plan the next school year.