Seven applicants have been chosen as finalists to fill a vacant seat on the Missoula County Public Schools Board of Trustees.

The seven are vying to replace former board member Nancy Pickhardt, who resigned in August.

Last month, the school board opened up a 10-day application window for interested persons, who were required to be at least 18 years of age and live within the boundaries of the MCPS elementary district (several were disqualified immediately for not living in the boundaries).

Board members will interview the candidates publicly at a special board meeting on Tuesday beginning at 6 p.m. in the MCPS business building at 915 South Ave. W.

The board will vote that evening, and the successful candidate will take the oath of office shortly afterward.

The Missoulian will provide live coverage of the meeting at

Here are the finalists:

Nina Cramer, Kelley Durbin, Arthur Hightower, Mike Jakupcak, Brigitte Murray, Michael Smith and Christine Whitlatch.

Whoever is chosen will fill out Pickhardt's term through May, when he or she will face an election to continue serving on the board. Whoever wins that election will serve a two-year term.

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