When the Riverside District 96 school board chose Lisa Gaynor to serve out the term of school board member Mary Stimming, its members spurned the application of someone who had just left the board a few months ago.

The Landmark has learned through a Freedom of Information Act request that former District 96 board member Giles McCarthy was one of seven people who applied for the vacancy on the school board.

McCarthy said that he applied for the vacancy, because he was asked to do so by board President Mary Ellen Meindl and the previous board president, Nancy Jensen.

“A couple of members of the board asked me to consider it when they had Mary leave,” McCarthy said, later identifying those members as Meindl and Jensen.

In his application letter McCarthy, who left the board last May after serving eight years and not running for re-election, stated he would only serve out the rest of Stimming’s term until 2013, adding he had no intention of running for another full term.

That apparently was one factor that led the board to choose Gaynor, the president of the Blythe Park School PTA, who appears to be interested in running for a full four-year term in 2013.

“Part of the board is looking toward the future, so for me, personally, if Giles was just interested in serving until April 2013 and Lisa would consider running in the future, that to me would help us with an experienced board for the future,” Meindl said.

Other factors that favored Gaynor over McCarthy could have been that Gaynor has children attending district schools and the still simmering anger felt by many District 96 residents toward the members of the school board who approved a generous contract for Superintendent Jonathan Lamberson in 2009.

The only incumbent board member who ran for re-election last spring, Hareena Wakely, was defeated, finishing fourth in a four-person field.

McCarthy said that he was fine with choice of Gaynor and did not feel snubbed.

“The fact they picked somebody who still has young kids in the district, who’s actively involved right now in a PTA capacity, somebody who would stand a good chance of wanting to be reelected after the interim term, it doesn’t surprise me or upset me or disturb me at all,” McCarthy said.

The other five applicants for the vacancy were Michael Flight, a member of the Riverside Historical Commission; Jennifer Kaiser, the treasurer of the Ames School PTA; Dr. Anthony Perry, the father of two Central School students; Roman Salij, a past member of the district’s International Baccalaureate Study Group; and Barbara Bielawski, the mother of a child at Central School.

The board did not interview any of the applicants. It met in closed session for about 90 minutes, reviewed resumes, talked and came to a decision.

Flight said he wished the board would have interviewed the applicants.

“I would think that if you were doing a thorough and complete job you would have interviewed the candidates,” Flight said. “It would have been nice to go to an interview and see what they were looking for.”

Meindl defended the decision not the interview the applicants.

“We felt that by looking at their resumes that all were qualified with various backgrounds, but it was obvious to us that Lisa Gaynor could most seamlessly step into the role,” Meindl said.