SALT LAKE CITY — Less than a month after the unexpected death of his mother Heather Bennett, the Salt Lake City Board of Education voted Tuesday to appoint Samuel Bennett Hanson to fill her unexpired term on the school board.
“Through my service for the remainder of this term, I hope to fuel a robust debate for the 2020 election on the issues that matter most to the constituents of Precinct 5. While we face challenges in the Salt Lake City School District, we are lucky to have incredible educators and school leaders on our team,” said Hanson in a statement.
Bennett, who served more than a decade on the Salt Lake school board following an unsuccessful fight over the closure of her neighborhood school, died unexpectedly March 19 from a vascular issue. Bennett, 61, had been undergoing treatment for pancreatic cancer.
Hanson, is a dance artist who teaches, choreographs and performs dance. For the past four years, he has been the editor of loveDANCEmore, a magazine on dance in the West.
He was educated in Salt Lake City schools, attending Lowell Elementary School. He is a graduate of West High School.
Hanson earned a bachelor degree in performance and media from the University of Utah.
“I am honored to serve briefly in my mother’s school board seat and enjoyed the opportunity tonight to share ideas with an exceptional group of fellow candidates,” said Hanson.Comment on this story
Nine people applied to fill the term, which expires Dec. 31, 2020.
The board conducted interviews earlier in the day Tuesday and voted 5-1 to appoint Hanson.
Bennett was spurred to run for office after the school board voted to close Lowell Elementary School where her children went to school and she was a volunteer.
Correction: An earlier version said the Salt Lake City Board of Education went into executive session prior to its vote to appoint a new board member Tuesday. The board did not close the meeting to the public.