Stark hopes to improve FPS outreach, communications

Jim Stark
Jim Stark (contributed photo)

Newly appointed Farmington Public Schools trustee Jim Stark waited until the last minute to file an application for the open Farmington Public Schools board seat vacated by Howard Wallach.

“I actually applied on the last day,” the Farmington resident said.

After a friend suggested that he toss his hat in the ring, however, the idea grew on him. Stark, who will be sworn August 16, said he decided to apply for three reasons: to support Superintendent Dr. George Heitsch, to increase board representation from the south side of the district, and to help maintain the same education his children received. While the appointment is temporary, lasting through the result of November’s election, Stark said his approach won’t be.

“I’m going to look at it like I’m going to be on it going forward, and then figure out what role suits me,” he said. “I’ll treat the first several months like I had a longer term, then go about the business of election.”

Board members interviewed five candidates on June 29 and selected Stark the same night, after just one round of voting. He said two topics seemed to resonate with trustees: reaching out to the 70 percent of district residents who don’t have school-aged children, and the need to work on better communicating the district’s advantages and success stories.

“I have a passion for working hard at what I do,” Stark said, adding that he plans to attend events and activities around the district. “I’ll try to learn, to be as big an asset as I can to the board and to George. I’m anxious to get started.”

Correction: The date of Stark’s first board meeting has been corrected.