School board trustee named - Coeur d'Alene Press: Local News

School board trustee named

Jim Hightower picked to fill most recent vacancy

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Posted: Tuesday, August 21, 2012 12:15 am

COEUR d'ALENE - The Coeur d'Alene School District's newest trustee is Jim Hightower, owner of several Domino's Pizza franchises in Kootenai County.

Hightower, one of five candidates who sought appointment to the Zone 5 seat on the district's board of trustees, was selected for appointment Monday, during a special meeting of the board.

He will complete Sid Fredrickson's term, which ends June 30. Fredrickson resigned from the board in July.

Trustee Jim Purtee, who, like Hightower, is a restaurant industry veteran with decades of corporate experience, said he has a good understanding of what Hightower brings to the table.

"He knows the kids in the (employee) applicant pool, and if it's a fraction of what I experience, he'd be desperate to change the system, because something is broken," Purtee said. "I think he has the budgetary experience that will also be helpful because we have some serious financial issues staring at us."

During the interviews prior to voting on an appointee, trustees asked the candidates what kind of expertise they have that will come in useful as a trustee.

Hightower cited his experience overseeing large budgets with a focus on cost-effective spending. In his application packet, Hightower wrote that he has managed annual budgets in excess of $15 million and overseen all aspects of employee management for as many as 600 workers at a time.

"I think this is a terribly great community. I've lived in a number of places and I love the people of Coeur d'Alene ... I believe that the only thing that we really own in this life, unlike money, unlike property, unlike your assets, is your integrity," Hightower said, during the interviews. "I think that's what we have to value the most. I think that's what we have to protect the most, and I think that if we can convey that to our kids we'd have gone a long way toward helping them be prepared for the world."

Hightower received the votes of three of the four board members: Purtee, Tom Hamilton and Ann Seddon.

Terri Seymour said Hightower was her second choice, but she voted for candidate Shelley Woodard, a retiree who has been a regular attendee at school board meetings for about 18 months. Woodard said he became interested in school district issues when controversy regarding the district's International Baccalaureate program began appearing in the news. Board members voted recently to discontinue the program in Coeur d'Alene.

In his application, Woodard noted that his wife will be working for KTEC, a new professional technical high school opening this fall. KTEC operates as a cooperative service agency of the Coeur d'Alene, Post Falls and Lakeland school districts, with its own, separate governing board. Woodard said he didn't think there would be a conflict of interest, and that if one should arise, he would recuse himself from voting on those particular issues.

Attorney Marc Lyons, counsel for the North Idaho College Board of Trustees, was invited by school district board chair Tom Hamilton to attend Monday's meeting and share his thoughts on whether a conflict might exist.

Lyons said he could not say whether there is a conflict, but he did caution that unlike other government agencies, the law regarding school boards does not allow board members to recuse themselves.

"If this decision were easy, I'd be disappointed, but the quality of everybody that has come forward is excellent, and I appreciate your willingness to step into a hornet's nest with us here, so to speak," said board chair Tom Hamilton prior to the vote.

The other candidates were Tom Hearn, Kathleen Tillman and Matt Robinson.

Tillman congratulated Hightower as she filed out following the trustees' selection.

"I know you'll do a good job," Tillman said.

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  • bratny822 posted at 12:43 am on Tue, Sep 4, 2012.

    bratny822 Posts: 11

    "I anticipate this is a awfully abundant community. I've lived in a cardinal of places and I adulation the bodies of Coeur d'Alene 350-030 exam I accept that the alone affair that we absolutely own in this life, clashing money, clashing property, clashing your assets, is your integrity," Hightower said, during the interviews. killtest 350-030 I anticipate that's what we accept to amount the most. 350-030 pratice tests I anticipate that's what we accept to assure the most, and I anticipate that if we can back that to our kids we'd accept gone a continued way against allowance them be able for the world."

  • RossClimber posted at 2:30 pm on Wed, Aug 22, 2012.

    RossClimber Posts: 10

    Hmmm.. wouldn't have been my choice for the Trustee.. His businesses may be "successful" but they lack in customer service. I refuse to spend any more money at a local Domino's. His employees are rude and disrespectful. I got hung up two times in one evening by an employee while his "manager" refused to come to the phone. I then wrote to corporate and Mr. Hightower did respond with an email where he blamed others (not his employees) for the situation that forced me to call. He seems to like to pass the buck!

  • objective posted at 1:32 pm on Wed, Aug 22, 2012.

    objective Posts: 73

    Me thinks they be brothers (Vox & Lola). Ignorance abounds amoungst the town. One calls a candidate a lowly janitor and the other derides a very difficult profession. And the ignorant sit on the sidelines throwing rocks at those who volunteer to serve the community. These naysayers would belittle Jesus Christ if he applied. Almost sounds like the National Democratic party finding fault with every single Republican that wants to run for office....none of them are credible because of their beliefs...because their beliefs happen to center around different perspectives and values than theirs. Hence the national divide. Few choose to be objective, argue the points of difference and commend the individual for who he/she is and what they have accomplished in life.

  • heatherfeather posted at 11:40 am on Wed, Aug 22, 2012.

    heatherfeather Posts: 297

    So lola123, what makes a candidate qualified? Do they need an Ivy League degree so they can tell us all what to do since they know so much more? Maybe they should be a celebrity! Ooooh! A STAR on the school board. Whoopee!

    I'm assuming a school trustee is in charge of managing the money allotted by taxes to the school district. Certainly, business experience is a plus here. Restaurants are a very cutthroat business which operate on lean margins. And, by the way, franchises do fail, all of the time.

  • Jeffrey Wherley posted at 9:48 am on Wed, Aug 22, 2012.

    Jeffrey Wherley Posts: 3969

    "...I believe that the only thing that we really own in this life, unlike money, unlike property, unlike your assets, is your integrity," Hightower said, during the interviews. "I think that's what we have to value the most. I think that's what we have to protect the most, and I think that if we can convey that to our kids we'd have gone a long way toward helping them be prepared for the world."

    I like that, something most people that go into politics discard first. If this new crop of CDA SD trustees don't throw theirs away, they will do good things.

  • Veeeee posted at 6:04 am on Wed, Aug 22, 2012.

    Veeeee Posts: 423

    It would have been excellent to see Mr. Hearn on the board...hopefully he will throw his hat in the ring the next time the opportunity arises. thank you.

  • lola123 posted at 6:45 pm on Tue, Aug 21, 2012.

    lola123 Posts: 352

    What makes people think running a cheesy restaurant is a qualification for trustee? Domino's is a franchise they wont let it fail no matter who owns it. It's a no brainer. They should have interviewed his employee's to see what they think of him that would open some eyes.

  • inclined posted at 2:55 pm on Tue, Aug 21, 2012.

    inclined Posts: 681

    vp. "the voice of the people is the voice of 'god'". I have been expressing this when the Atheist speak. But, A pox on you and your noxious ideas! When for so long education with their bully were siphoning off monies in the billions to formulate and support policy by Left politicians to pimp out our children to unworthy ends. Most would go for their shady cover, but you, you continue to solicit.

  • angryNIdaho posted at 11:50 am on Tue, Aug 21, 2012.

    angryNIdaho Posts: 81

    Our schools aren't producing good job applicants FOR DOMINO'S? KTEC ain't gonna help.

  • objective posted at 9:14 am on Tue, Aug 21, 2012.

    objective Posts: 73

    Voxpox.....Your ignorant comment about Mr. Woodard being a "janitor" speaks volumns about your education. Stay off the blogs and entertain yourself in front of the mirror with your rhetoric.
    You seem to wake up each morning looking for a character to deride. With the constant, blatant and , again, ignorant statements you make you only impress yourself.
    I was at the board meeting and watched all of the proceedings. Each and every board member to a person was sincere and asked probing questions. VOXPOX you have no clue. Though I'm not "married" to any of the trustees, I'm not ever going to be in the business of blindly casting dispersions upon any individual.
    Your comment about Purtee (I guess according to Purtee you must be a product of SD271.) means what?
    Your comment about slide to the right means what? The board should be "left"? What the heck does that mean? Grow up..mature a bit and if I were you I'd be a bit more careful about slandering may come back to bite you.

  • mister d posted at 9:13 am on Tue, Aug 21, 2012.

    mister d Posts: 1531

    I wonder how much of the job application problems has to do with the fact that kids can master video games and sports requirements. Do you think if they spent as much time on academics they could also master that? How many students are working after school jobs *well into the night hours) and just don't have time to study. If kids want to be successful in their careers, they will work for it, the ones who pay attention seem to be successful.

  • voxpop posted at 5:37 am on Tue, Aug 21, 2012.

    voxpop Posts: 738

    Amazing there Will. You managed to get 'fiduciary' spelled correctly but not "feat." I guess according to Purtee you must be a product of SD271. Unfortunately, with this selection, the board accelerates its slide to the right. It will be up to the residents to realize this and 'throw the bums out."

    Oh, and Maureen - proof read your article. See if you can find your goof.

  • Will Penny posted at 3:54 am on Tue, Aug 21, 2012.

    Will Penny Posts: 337

    EXCELLENT> Jim is a very successful businessman, no small fete in this economy. He should bring even more fiduciary responsibility to the board.

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