The Salt Lake City school board opening left by the death of longtime board member Heather Bennett will be filled by her son.
The Salt Lake City Board of Education voted 5-1 to appoint Samuel Bennett Hanson to serve the remainder of his mother’s term. Heather Bennett died last month at the age of 61. She had served on the school board since 2005, representing Precinct 5, which extends from the Jordan River to 1300 East, between 900 South and 2100 South.
“I am honored to serve briefly in my mother’s School Board seat and enjoyed the opportunity tonight to share ideas with an exceptional group of fellow candidates,” Hanson said in a statement. “Through my service for the remainder of this term, I hope to fuel a robust debate for the 2020 election on the issues that matter most to the constituents of Precinct 5.”
The next election for the seat is in 2020.
Hanson and eight others applied to fill the seat and were interviewed at a board meeting Tuesday.
Bennett was a well-known advocate for children’s education in Salt Lake City. She argued against vouchers for private school tuition, helped write the district’s policy banning discrimination against LGBTQ students in 2010, and supported including domestic partners on the insurance coverage for district employees. She advocated later starts for the school day, citing research that shows students perform better when they’re not up too early.