Four residents of Washington's ward seven - a former D.C. school board member, a former member of the Seattle, Wash., school board, a principal, and a retired teacher - are seeking appointment to the ward's school board seat.

The school board is expected to fill the vancy that has existed since October on Jan. 18, but whoever gets it will have to face election in November for the remaining two years of the term.

The four candidates, who had to file by late yesterday, are Edward L. Hancock, who held the ward seven school board seat from 1969 to 1972; Alfred E. Cowles, a former president of the Seattle school board; Herbert Boyd, principal of Brent Elementary School of Capitol Hill, and Minnie's. Woodson, a retired Washington elementary school teacher who now serves on the city commission on the arts.

Ward seven comprises Northeast and Southeast Washington, east of the Anacostia River. Its last representative was James S. Featherston Jr., who resigned last October.

Boyd, 58, who has been a D.C. teacher and principal for 30 years, said he has submitted papers for retirement so is not affected by a law barring city employees from being board members.

Hancock, 54, was a member of the city's first elected school board, but lost subsequent elections.

Cowles, 48, is general manager of Paradise Manor Apartments, a 672-unit, federally assisted low-income housing complex in Northeast. He was an elected member of the Seattle school board from 1969 to 1973, including a year as board president. In 1968 he served as press secretary to Sen. Charles E. Goodell (R-N.Y.)

Mrs. Woodson was an elementary school teacher here for 18 years. She now is education committee chairwoman for both the Far Northeast-Southeast Council and the D.C Congress of PTAs.

Candidates and members of the public will speak at a school board hearing on the vacancy on Wednesday at 7 p.m. at Sousa Junior high School, 37th Street and Ely Pace SE.