BOISE — Boise’s top fire official now has a whole new set of responsibilities, but they’re not fire related.
The Boise School Board chose Boise Fire Chief Dennis Doan to fill the vacancy on the board at Monday night’s meeting.
The previous trustee, Doug Park, announced last month he would step down mid-term, days after the district’s school board elections. Park’s term was not set to expire until 2020.
Doan will serve out the remainder of Park’s term, then must run for reelection in 2020 to retain his seat.
Doan said he brings a city perspective to the board and hopes to help foster collaboration between the city of Boise and the school district. He applauded the efforts of the district and its current board, and said he wants to aid in the direction the district is headed.
Doan said that he was considering running after longtime board member A.J. Balukoff announced he would not seek reelection. But seeing the large pool of candidates, Doan opted to run in 2020 instead.
Doan has two children in district schools, both juniors at Timberline High School in Boise.
Six applied to fill the vacant seat and only one, James Tooman, was a candidate from the election.
“We opened it up for everybody,” district spokesman Dan Hollar said. “We definitely got the word out.”
According to the Boise School District’s website, the applicants were Doan, Mary Kemp, Krista McIntyre, Rob Pangaro, Brett Shelton and Tooman.
Doan, Kemp, McIntyre and Shelton were chosen as finalists, according to the website.
Hollar said the district was impressed with Doan’s ability to manage a large-scale operation such as Boise Fire, along with his ability to “connect and be a bridge” between the board and the city.
The school board vacancy came under some public scrutiny, as it came less than a week after the election. Park told the Idaho Press the timing of his resignation was not to avoid opening up a seat for the election, but he had been considering it for a bit.
Park, now 65, said he wanted to make room for some younger people to serve on the board. Additionally, he said he had the opportunity to work on some statewide initiatives that started to pick up momentum in August.
“I was getting more and more involved on a broad level, and it just seemed to be the time,” Park said.
Park said two of the big initiatives he is working with are Idaho Businesses for Education and Age of Agility, both seeking to produce students with marketable skills when they graduate.
Park said he doesn’t intend to stop working with K-12 education anytime soon.