Bend-La Pine Schools is seeking to replace a vacant seat on the school board. Board member Janet Sarai Llerandi Gonzales resigned on Sept. 10 after moving out of the district. On Sept. 13, the BLPS board chair announced the board would be seeking a replacement at an upcoming school board meeting.
Applications for the position are due by Oct. 11 and finalists will be interviewed and appointed on Nov. 15. Llerandi Gonzales won an election in May 2021 for a four-year term for the at-large position, meaning she was one of two board members representing the entire BLPS district area rather than a specific district. Her replacement would fill the vacancy until June 30, 2023.
Llerandi Gonzales ran for the seat on a platform of inclusion, fostering a more welcoming environment for students, those with disabilities and those experiencing financial hardship. She continued advocating for marginalized groups as a board member, and often spoke out about other issues in the community.
In October, 2021 the Oregon Government Ethics Commission opened an investigation into Llerandi Gonzales for potentially engaging in prohibited use of an official position and violating gift limits. In a protest after Roe v. Wade was overturned in July, Llerandi Gonzales was also reprimanded for violating the school board's code of conduct when she failed to state she was voicing her own opinions that weren't representative of the board, and using profanity.
Applicants must reside within the Bend-La Pine Schools attendance area and be a registered voter in a Deschutes County voting precinct. Appointees are allowed to file for the next election next spring.