Trustees appoint long-time resident, volunteer to fill open post

Jim Stark
New Farmington Public Schools trustee talks about volunteering with the Farmington High Music Patrons during Wednesday’s Board of Trustees interview.

Former newspaper publisher and long-time volunteer Jim Stark has been appointed to fill the Farmington Public Schools Board of Education seat vacated by Howard Wallach.

Five trustees selected Stark June 29 on a single ballot, after interviewing five candidates for the post. Others who applied were Bill Lubaway, Rajiv Shah, Donald David, and Fritz Beiermeister.

A 23-year resident and father of two daughters, Stark formerly published the Farmington Gazette newspaper and served for 14 years as executive director of the Michigan Sports Hall of Fame. He serves as current president of the Farmington High School Music Patrons, and brought along one of the sturdy boxes he collects from Costco to store items collected during the Patrons’ annual bottle and can drive, which raises about $5,000.

Even though the next drive isn’t until November, Stark said, he is now picking up boxes every time he travels to Costco.

“That’s how committed I am to the things I get involved with,” he said. “Even today, when the thing is still months away, I’m still picking up boxes.”

Asked what drove his decision to apply for the post, Stark said he wanted to give back, since he has been given a lot and seen how the school district benefitted his children, and felt that it was important to have representation on the board from the south end of the school district.

Stark suggested reaching out to the 70 percent of residents who don’t have children in school, and said given his experience with media, he feels the district’s communications with the community, the region and state could be more “progressive, stimulating, compelling”.

“There’s some great stories here,” he said. “You need to make sure your stories are being told, so you get that notoriety. A healthy district helps everybody.”

Stark will be sworn in during the July 19 school board meeting, which begins at 7 p.m. in the Lewis Schulman Administrative Center, 32500 Shiawassee, Farmington. The term lasts through the November election; Stark said he intends to run for a full term.

Clarification: The date of the interviews and board vote was not included in the original version of this post.