3 seats each open on quad-city area school boards in 2024 election

Steve King, superintendent of the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District, and Kara Woods, Prescott Unified School District Governing Board member, shown at a candidates forum Jan. 22, 2023, are running for Yavapai County Superintendent of Schools. (Nanci Hutson/Courier file photo)

Steve King, superintendent of the Cottonwood-Oak Creek School District, and Kara Woods, Prescott Unified School District Governing Board member, shown at a candidates forum Jan. 22, 2023, are running for Yavapai County Superintendent of Schools. (Nanci Hutson/Courier file photo)

The complexion of the school district governing boards across the tri-city area – Prescott, Humboldt and Chino Valley Unified — may change dramatically after the election this fall.

In each district, there will be three seats open on the five-member Governing Boards; some with veteran incumbents who have already decided against re-election, with others yet to be determined.

The Yavapai Education Service Agency manages all school elections, including the race for the Yavapai County superintendent, that this year will not have an incumbent as two-decade superintendent and five-decade educator Tim Carter will retire at the end of this four-year term.

At this time, the two announced candidates to replace Carter are both Republicans, the single-term Prescott Unified School District Governing Board member Kara Woods and Cottonwood Superintendent Steve King.

Prescott Unified’s 2023-24 Board President Andy Fraher said he intends to obtain a packet for a second term, and will make a formal decision as the process evolves.

“Things can always change,” he said.

Two-year-seat incumbent Linda Conn has announced she intends to seek one of the four-year seats. Woods now holds the third, four-year seat. Woods holds the third, four-year seat.

In Humboldt Unified, incumbent and former board Vice President Paul Ruwald has previously stated he does not intend to seek re-election to a third term. Veteran incumbents Suzie Roth, first elected in 2013, and Board President Rich Adler, a two-decade incumbent, could not be reached for comment. Neither has publicly announced their plans and on Wednesday, Feb. 21 could not be reached for comment.

Chino Valley Unified also has three veteran incumbents – Annie Mortensen, Peter Atonna and Michael Fogel – and the Courier on Wednesday, Feb. 21 was unable to ascertain their decisions.

Mountain Institute Career and Technical Education District has two seats for Prescott and Chino Valley: the Prescott incumbent is Dave Klever and the Chino Valley seat is now held by Michelle Gronek.

The timeline for the November 2024 school district races begins on March 4, the first day potential candidates can pick up their Governing Board packets.

All candidates must file their official statement of interest prior to obtaining petitions – the number of which depends on the number of registered voters in the district where they are located. That number can be obtained through the elections office at the Yavapai County Education Service Agency. The nomination statement and petitions must be filed together between June 10 and July 8.

The deadline for a write-in candidate for any election that may otherwise be cancelled for lack of candidates and to challenge nomination petitions is July 22.

The Yavapai County Board of Supervisors final day to cancel elections for lack of candidates in any race is July 23.

The last day for candidates to submit a 500-word statement with photograph is Sept. 25. The last day to register to vote is Oct. 7. Early voting begins on Oct. 9 with Oct. 25 the last day to obtain an early ballot. Election Day is Tuesday, Nov. 5.

Reach Nanci Hutson by email at nhutson@prescottaz.com or call 928-445-3333 ext. 2041.


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