Four candidates with a wide range of backgrounds in education and business have applied to fill the vacant Omaha Public Schools board seat representing parts of South Omaha.
The candidates for Subdistrict 9 are:
» Emily Bannick, an associate and director of business development at BVH Architects. Bannick has volunteered with numerous civic boards, including Emerging Terrain and Leadership Omaha. She has the endorsement of the Chamber of Commerce, which emerged as a power player in May's school board election.
» William A. Sole, Sr., a South Omaha High School alum who previously worked as a chief engineer and fleet manager for several organizations, including OPS. He is a lifelong South Omaha resident who believes his job experience on the operations side of OPS can prove valuable.
» Anthony Vargas, a national policy analyst for Education First Consulting. Vargas taught middle school science in Brooklyn before becoming an adviser and director for Teach for America's main office.
» Brian Villafuerte, an adult education instructor for Bellevue Public Schools. Villafuerte has worked as a teacher in several school districts, including OPS, Lincoln and Bellevue. He an unsuccessfully for the same board seat in May.
Another candidate, Lubna Hussein, an Arabic senior instructor at Offutt Air Force Base, was disqualified because she does not live in Subdistrict 9.
Former board member Sarah Brumfield resigned from the seat in September, citing family responsibilities. Brumfield was elected last November and won again in May after the Legislature shrunk the board from 12 members to nine and forced a new election.
The board will interview candidates at a special meeting on Oct. 28. They have until the end of the month to appoint Brumfield's successor, who will serve out the remainder of her 3½-year term.
Candidates had until Monday to submit their resume, letters of recommendation and answers to questions on current issues in public education and the importance of team building.
The district covers a swath of South Omaha, including Omaha South High School, Bancroft Elementary and Spring Lake Elementary schools, among others.