GFPS committee recommends Reiff for school board vacancy

The ad hoc committee of the Great Falls Public Schools board has selected Nathan Reiff as their recommendation to fill the vacancy from the unexpected death of former board chair Jan Cahill.

Board members Bill Bronson and Kim Skornogoski, and Superintendent Tom Moore and Director of Business Operations Brian Patrick, interviewed Reiff and Russ Herring, the two applicants for the vacancy, on July 16.

The full school board will consider the recommendation during their July 19 meeting and vote on an appointment to fill the vacancy until next year’s school board election.

Both men had run for a board seat in May but lost to Marlee Sunchild.

GFPS receives two applications for school board vacancy

Reiff works at First Interstate Bank, and formerly the Great Falls Development Authority, and Russ Herring is a nurse practitioner at the Great Falls Clinic.

The committee unanimously picked Reiff as their first choice.

Bill Bronson, school board member, said that when they had the names of the applicants he realized they had two strong candidates. 

“The board would win either way,” Bronson said.

GFPS board sets plan to fill vacancy; remembers Cahill during meeting

But he said that the board is in a transitional phase and he thought the board needed someone with board experience and Reiff has more of that experience.

He said the board will also need to continue cultivating relationships with the business community and that Reiff is well positioned for that. 

Brian Patrick said that they both understand the chain of command and the workings of a board.

Cahill, GFPS board chairman, has died

He said that Reiff was “solid and well rounded. I liked the depth of his answers.”

Patrick said he thinks the Reiff’s business connections will be helpful with the district’s efforts to look at transitional learning.

Skornogoski said that both were good candidates and she was glad that they had both run for the school board so that the public had a chance to vet them as well.

School board, flood district election results

She said that the board’s biggest gaps are experience on public boards and the business connections and “I feel like Nathan is a great fit.”

Moore said that “I could work for either of those two gentlemen,” and was grateful to have two qualified applicants willing to serve.

Amy Sterling of the Great Falls Education Association said “this is a solid choice.”