Blackfoot School District trustee Taylor Johansen announced on Thursday that he will not seek re-election for his Zone 4 seat in May. Johansen was appointed to the board in October 2011 to fill the remainder of trustee Bryce Lloyd's term. Lloyd resigned from the board for personal reasons.
Johansen said that he will support businessman Derek Preece to fill his seat in the upcoming election.
In a statement released on Thursday, Johansen wrote, "After a great deal of thought, I have decided that I will not seek election for trustee of Blackfoot School District.
"When asked to fill the vacancy in my zone 17 months ago, I did so because I believe as parents and citizens we can make a difference and improve opportunities for our children and grandchildren."
He went on, "I appreciate members of the community who have backed up their personal views with efforts to improve the school system. My respect has grown for people who are willing to take time away from their personal and professional lives to make a difference. I believe Derek Preece to be one of those people and I will be supporting him in the upcoming board election. Derek and I live in the same zone and we share a commitment to the children toward improvement."
Johansen added, "I appreciate the efforts of the community in helping to obtain the funds the recent levy will provide to the district."
Preece recently turned in the appropriate paperwork to the district to run for the seat.
"Over the past several months, I have attended several school board meetings, met with teachers, administrators, parents and school board members," Preece said. "When I heard that Johansen wouldn't be seeking election, I decided to run."
Preece praised Johansen, saying, "Over time I have come to have tremendous respect for Dr. Johansen. I believe he has demonstrated great leadership and integrity and has been instrumental in creating a new atmosphere of transparency between our board and the patrons. I wish to publicly thank him for his service."
Preece is the owner of On The Spot Carpet Cleaning and Restoration. He is a past president of the Greater Blackfoot Chamber of Comerce and is active in the community. He and his wife Jessica have five children.