Yakima school board member Rice to resign

YAKIMA, Wash. -- After nine months of serving on the school board, Jeni Rice has resigned. She tried to pull out of being on the board even before she was elected. But, still ended up winning. Now, she's leaving her position after serving nine months of her four-year term.

"It's always sad to see an existing board member leave, but we're looking forward to getting another good candidate," said Yakima School Board President Martha Rice.

A board member that's needed so early in the school year. President Martha Rice, no relation to Jeni Rice, doesn't think the vacant seat will disrupt the school board. And, isn't critical of her former colleague.

"She was an active participant and brought a perspective that allowed us to expand our thinking a little bit."

Action News called Jeni Rice to get her side and find out why she's quitting the board. She didn't want to be recorded and referred us to her resignation letter as her official statement.

Rice points to the recent OSPI approval of her tutoring company. That raised concern of a potential conflict of interest if she stayed on the board, especially if her company does business with the school district in the future.

The search for a replacement starts after Labor Day. Whoever it is will play a role in deciding the district's next superintendent.

Applications for the seat on the school board will be accepted starting Tuesday. The board plans to interview candidates in late September and appoint someone by the beginning of October. Whoever is appointed will have to run for re-election next fall.