Originally Published: March 31, 2016 6 a.m.
Anyone considering running for a school board position may want to start getting serious about it now.
Candidacy for any of the positions in Yavapai County opens Monday, April 4.
The Yavapai County Education Service Agency (YCESA) will be hosting three different evening events soon that will go over the candidacy process in detail, said Yavapai County School Superintendent Tim Carter, who is in charge of the election process.
The first will be in YCESA’s Prescott office, 2970 Centerpointe E Drive, on Monday, April 4 at 6 p.m.
The second will be in Kirkland on Wednesday, April 6, to serve the southern part of the county.
And the third will be in Cottonwood on Thursday, April 7, to serve the Verde Valley.
Learn the process
• YCESA’s Prescott office, 2970 Centerpointe E Drive, on Monday, April 4 at 6 p.m.
• Kirkland on Wednesday, April 6.
• Cottonwood on Thursday, April 7
Call 928-771-3326 for more information.
Those who attend one of these sessions will receive an application packet, Carter said. Participants wishing to run will have the opportunity to fill out the packet and turn it in that evening. Those needing more time to make a decision may take the packet home for further review.
Once the packet is turned in, potential candidates will be given petitions so they may go out and begin collecting signatures. Each district requires its potential candidates to collect a different number of signatures to get onto the ballot based on the number of registered voters in that district.
Those wishing to run for one of the three positions that will be on the ballot in the Prescott Unified School District this year, for example, must collect 191 signatures, according to a news release.
All three incumbents up for re-election in PUSD (Scott Hicks, Tina Seeley and John Mackin) have said they intend on running again.
Mackin, a youth minister, had some hesitations at first, for he said the duty requires a significant amount of time and energy.
However, he said he loves being on the school board, especially since he has four children attending PUSD schools.
For Hicks, the decision to run again wasn’t as difficult, despite the weight of the responsibility.
“We have been faced with some very formidable challenges over the last several years,” Hicks said. “Tough decisions had to be made (staff reductions and closing schools), and the environment for public education going forward will continue to be challenging. Having said that, I feel we are still providing a great education for the students of PUSD. There are still many challenges ahead for our district, but I feel we are headed in the right direction.”
The three incumbents up for re-election in CVUSD (Peter Atonna, Sherry Brown and Daniel Chacon) have all said they intend on running again as well. They and any other potential candidate in that district must collect 63 signatures to get onto the ballot.
Humboldt Unified School District also has three positions up for grabs as Gary Hicks, Brian Letendre and Richard Adler have reached the end of their terms.
Letendre and Adler are committed to running again while Hicks is still undecided.
“At this point, I don’t intend to, but I might,” Hicks said.
Although he is running again, Letendre hopes he and his fellow board members face some competition.
“I want to see the public interest in education grow,” Letendre said. “It is sad when a community of this size has a hard time finding five people who are interested in serving on the school board. I invite anyone interested, talk to Dan Streeter, talk to me, or other board members, express interest and run for the board if you feel you want to serve all kids. It is a great way to get involved and see how schools are really run.”
Someone looking to run for a position in HUSD must collect 149 signatures.
To be eligible for nomination to a school district governing board pursuant to A.R.S. §15-421, a candidate must be a registered voter of the state and have been a resident of the school district for at least one year immediately preceding the day of election, according to YCESA.
No employee of a school district or the spouse of such employee may hold membership on a governing board of a school district of which such employee is employed. In addition, immediate family that has or had the same residence within the previous four years shall not serve simultaneously on a five member governing board. All positions are volunteer.
Carter recommends that anyone who is seriously considering running for a school board position give him a call if they have any questions.
“I will have a conversation with them around the district that they’re in and some of the process and procedures that they would have to go through,” Carter said.
His office can be reached by calling 928-771-3326.
Although the running process has begun, the candidate filing period doesn’t begin until Monday, July 11, and goes through Wednesday, August 10.