Mason, 48, who lives in View Ridge, will serve the remaining two years of Russell's term.
"I'm very excited," Mason said. "I look forward to doing my best, knowing the voters didn't elect me. That makes me want to work extra hard."
Mason, who has a master's degree in business administration from Seattle University, works at Motion Marketing in Everett. She has served on the school district's Fiscal Advisory Council and the Citizens Levy and Bond Committee.
The board made its decision at the end of a six-hour meeting Thursday during which each of five candidates who had applied answered questions by board members for about 45 minutes each.
Due to Tuesday's resignation of a second school board member, Jessica Olson, the decision on whom to appoint to Russell's position was made by only three remaining school board members: Pam LeSesne, Carol Andrews and Ted Wenta, who was just elected in November. At full strength, the board has five members.
Board members discussed the appointment in executive session for an hour and 20 minutes, then voted unanimously in an open meeting to appoint Mason.
"This was a very hard discussion because we had five very bright candidates," LeSesne said.
Prior to the vote, Wenta reflected on recent changes on the board, with two members resigning unexpectedly.
"In the last two months, we've gone from a board with a cumulative experience of 30 years to now 10," he said. "It's really important that we get this right. We want to select a candidate who really embodies the trust of the community."
During her interview, Mason told board members: "The school board currently is under some transition. It needs stability. I believe I can bring that."
Sharon Salyer: 425-339-3486 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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