Kjelgaard has 20 years' experience in public schools and universities as an educator. She has a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction. She also has worked for several corporations and has owned private businesses.
Currently she is the executive director of the Eureka Springs School of the Arts and serves on the boards of Community First Bank, St. John's Home Health and Hospice and Clear Spring School.
Asked whether her service as a board member of the private Clear Spring School might be a conflict of interest with serving on the public school board, Kjelgaard said she did raise that as a concern.
Clear Spring has no affiliation with the public school district. It is privately funded by fees and fund-raisers. It does not receive federal entitlement funds, although it would be eligible, said public school Superintendent Curtis Turner.
"During the budget process, we have to check with the private schools to see if they want federal funding, and they don't," he said, adding that in his experience, private schools have never asked for it, primarily because there are "strings attached" in how they spend such monies.
Turner said the school district is checking with its lawyer on the conflict of interest issue.
"If it is a conflict of interest, I will make a choice," Kjelgaard said by phone Thursday.
Before going into executive session, board members discussed the process of how to go about filling the slot, and noted they had gone into executive session in the past when considering replacements for resigned members.
Karen Gros said only one person had approached her. Present at the meeting was Eugene Darby, who expressed interest, and David Blankenship, who said he was supporting Darby as a replacement.
Following the executive session, the board also voted to accept the resignation of high school librarian Danielle Hardwicke, who has accepted a position in Fayetteville.
The board will now have to fill not only that position but that of Skills teacher Mike Bonds, who passed away suddenly last Saturday in a drowning accident.