Tuesday Mar 11 2008
McFadden new school board member
By: Nathan Donato-Weinstein The Press-Tribune
Six months ago, Brett McFadden told Roseville City School District trustees why he should be selected to fill an open seat on their five-member board. On Thursday, he did so again, this time for another open seat. But he said he wished he didn't have to. Board members at their regular meeting unanimously voted to select McFadden for the seat formerly held by Helen Duran, who resigned in January due to health reasons. The retired longtime Roseville teacher died Feb. 28 after a short battle with cancer. McFadden was sworn in immediately after the vote. There's a certain element of emotion in this, he told trustees beforehand. I'm here tonight, not wanting to seek an appointment under these auspices. But it does make you feel how precious life is. McFadden, 40, was one of four applicants Thursday who touted their qualifications to the board. All of them were previous hopefuls for the seat vacated in September when former trustee Scott Huber re-signed to take a position on the high school district board. Current RCSD trustee Stanford Hi-rata was ultimately chosen for Hu-ber's seat. Trustees said they opted to invite the original applicants back to re-apply for the latest open seat, rather than open the vacancy to a new process, because they were satisfied with those applicants' credentials. It's very awkward to be a part of this process, considering I was among these fine folks six months ago, Hirata said. I could have very well seconded any of these candidates because of their strengths. In McFadden's case, a background in education, particularly school fi-nance, made him an attrac-tive choice, several board members said. A father of two students in the district, McFadden is a management consultant with the Assocition of California School Administrators and also serves on the site council of his children's school. Brett's experience in education is very rich, trustee Krista Bernasconi said. He's very hands-on, and he understands the climate of our school district and has a collaborative approach. Hirata added that Duran was an early supporter of McFadden for the previous board vacancy appointment. A big piece for me was Brett was Helen's choice over me, and this is Helen's seat and I want to honor that, he said. In his remarks before the vote, McFadden said he would aim to finish Helen's term in memory of her and to honor her. Other priorities, he said, would include looking out for the needs of socio-economically disadvantaged students. I care deeply about making sure all children have the opportunity to learn and succeed, he said. After the meeting, McFadden singled out finance as the biggest challenge facing the district. Like every other district, it will be the budget, he said. We need to not only plan ahead but advocate our causes. As an appointee, McFadden will serve until the next scheduled election, which is in November. McFadden and his wife, Marci, have two children, Ryan and Jack, both at Diamond Creek Elementary School.