The Fort Wayne Community Schools board is one step closer to selecting the person who will carry out the remainder of Mark GiaQuinta's term.
Members interviewed the last of six finalists, Maria Norman, during a special meeting Thursday, two days before GiaQuinta's resignation takes effect.
The other finalists – John Guingrich, Austin Knox, Christopher Nusbaum, Brian Stouder and Tiffany Yoquelet – were interviewed March 20.
The board expects to vote on the at-large seat April 17. The term expires at the end of 2018.
Norman views the position as a way to make a bigger difference in her community, she said.
The 2000 Elmhurst High School graduate said the district does a good job providing different types of learning for students. Her sister struggled in a traditional high school setting but thrived in the cosmetology program at Anthis, she said.
More, however, could be done with the nearby colleges, she said. She suggested inviting professors to talk with classes about topics relevant to their courses.
Norman, who has a bachelor's degree in art history, has worked in college admissions at Manchester University. The job let her spark students' interest in attending college, she said.
She now serves as the student portal administrator at IPFW, where she also is working toward a master's degree in public administration, she said. Her studies have included research about public education, she said.
Her fellow finalists have varied backgrounds. Guingrich is the director of programs and services at The League, an agency for people with disabilities; Knox is the director of support services at the Wayne Township Trustee's Office; Nusbaum works at the law firm Dale, Huffman & Babcock; Stouder works at Murray Equipment; and Yoquelet works at 3Rivers Federal Credit Union.
Board members Steve Corona and Jordan Lebamoff were absent Thursday. Their colleagues said they would encourage them to contact or meet Norman before the vote in April.
GiaQuinta did not participate in the interviews.
The new board member's first regular board meeting will be April 24.