Wenatchee School Board To Deal With Member’s Texas Home Purchase
The Wenatchee School Board will be discussing the topic of board member residency at Tuesday's meeting.
The issue is in the spotlight after the district became aware that board member Katherine Thomas purchased a home in El Paso, Texas.
Wenatchee Schools spokesperson Diana Haglund says they don't know if Thomas has actually moved out of state, just that a home purchase was made.
"We have been notified of that, although not by Katherine herself," said Haglund. "But she has not notified us that that purchase resulted in a change in her primary residence. So, her primary residence to our knowledge is still here in Wenatchee within the district."
Wenatchee School Board policy and state law require school board members to resign if they move out of the district.
Haglund says the district was made aware of Thomas' actions by community members.
"That is community members concerns that have contacted the board as well as the district is just concern regarding adherence to board policy and state law." Haglund said.
A Facebook message to KPQ claims a local blogger supplied screen shots showing there was a power outage at the location of the purchased home (in El Paso) on a day that Thomas claimed she was experiencing power outages when she could not participate in a board meeting virtually.
Thomas has appeared both in person and virtually at recent school board meetings.
Thomas was a school board election candidate in 2021 when she reportedly appeared at a board meeting where about 50 demonstrators interrupted the meeting with complaints about state-level mandates that previously required virtual learning and mask wearing at schools during the pandemic.
Haglund said if Thomas were to resign her position, the school board would likely not appoint a replacement board member before November’s election. There are just three board meetings and a workshop before the election.
Thomas announced months ago that she would not seek election within the new board arrangement in which members are elected to four separate positions tied to geographic location within the city and one at large position.
All five school board positions are on the ballot in November.