On Saturday, the Anchorage School Board held interviewed 32 applicants for the open school board seat vacated by Bettye Davis in September. Davis stepped down from her seat in September due to health issues and wanting to spend more time with family. 

"I'm excited and heartbroken to be in this position," School Board member Elisa Snelling said. "We're down to two very deserving candidates that will bring a lot to the school board."

After eight hours of interviews, the school board settled on their final two candidates: former Anchorage School District CFO Mark Foster and former ASD executive director Margo Bellamy. In the end the board voted 4-2 in favor of Foster, citing his knowledge of working with the budget and not running for re-election once his term was over. 

"I'm honored by the selection; it was a very competitive field," Foster said. "I'm looking forward to the challenge of helping the board out." 

Foster says coming out of retirement to help fill the remaining five months left on the seat is a win win for everyone involved. 

"If the board was interested in somebody who wasn't going to run, and therefor not having to worry about giving an edge to a candidate with incumbency, I would be available for that five months," Foster said. "Someone to hold the bench who has actively been engaged in the issues, has good knowledge base so I can get up to speed very quickly and be productive." 

"We initially tied in the final vote 3-3," board member Deena Mitchell said. "I could've gone either way. I really could've flipped a coin and been satisfied." 

Foster will officially be sworn in at Monday night's school board meeting. The board is also expected to celebrate and honor Davis' contributions.

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