Paladin named to vacant seat on Northgate School Board

New Northgate School Board member Gary Paladin. Photo by John Doane for The Citizen.

If at first you don't succeed, try, try again. After interviewing three candidates for an open two-year seat on the Northgate School Board, the board chose someone all too familiar with trying to acquire a seat.

The board appointed Gary Paladin, who has thrown his hat into the ring for a seat a number of times, in a 7-1 vote, with new board member Tony Barbarino opposed.

"He seemed like he already fit in," board member Charles Miklos said. "He impressed me."

The vacancy was created when Miklos won election to both a four-year and a two-year board seat in November, and chose to accept the longer term.

Paladin has run for a seat before, losing in the primary election last May. He also has applied for previous board vacancies.

The other two candidates were Ron Coder, whose wife Kathleen is president of Bellevue Council, and former board member Lorinda Hayes.

After interviewing the candidates, the board took a preliminary vote to see how things stood. Paladin received four votes, from board members David Natale, Dan O'Keefe, Shirl Reinhart and Miklos. Hayes received two, from member Shannon Smithey and president Susan Nolan. Coder also received two votes, from Barbarino and Marita Bartholomew.

The board eventually chose Paladin because of his commitment to the district and his persistence in attempting to sit on the board.

Smithey said that Paladin showed commitment and was supportive of the faculty during the interview.

Paladin, of Bellevue, said that he moved into the district 20 years ago. He formed the Hosanna Church in Brighton Heights, where he serves as pastor and also is involved in youth, crisis and family counseling.

He has volunteered with a number of community organizations, including Belleve Avalon Baseball Association (BABA), sat on a number of committees for the school board, including the latest strategic planning committee, and was a past PTO president at Bellevue Elementary.

Paladin said that the district faculty continues to improve overall. He said that he hopes to "continue to see academic excellence in education," and that education is provided in safe environments.

He said that the board's most important goal should be to enable the administration and teachers to do what they are called to do, and allow them to accomplish their goals.

Paladin is expected to be officially sworn in before next Monday's committee of the whole meeting.

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