As the 2012-2013 school year is soon to kick off, a total of six seats from the Amphitheater and Marana School Districts’ governing boards will be up for grabs come the November General Election.
From Marana, three incumbents’ terms will expire on Dec. 31, to include Board President Suzanne Hopkins, Vice President Maribel Lopez, and Board Member Dan Post.
From Amphi, Board President Diana Boros, and Board Members Kent Barrabee and Linda Loomis will see also see their terms expire.
Each of the six incumbents has the option to run for reelection.
According to Chief Financial Officer Ricardo Hernandez of the Pima County Superintendent’s Office, none of the incumbents have yet filed the petition required for candidacy, although each has requested the necessary paperwork to do so.
Still, Boros and Loomis have confirmed they will not seek another term, while Barrabee confirmed he would, having already collected the 364 required petition signatures to do so.
Barrabee expressed his enthusiasm to be running for another term, particularly in regards to the potential of working with new Amphi Superintendent, Patrick Nelson.
“It will be a different flavor,” he said. “I’m looking forward to working with Mr. Nelson in order to explore some of my interests and his.”
Barrabee said if reelected, he would like to see an increased use of quality technology in classrooms, but emphasized one of his main concerns is to keep up the morale of teachers and other school employees.
“There are additional stresses given the economy in their line of work,” he said. “Education is about finding quality teachers, but it is certainly also about finances and working conditions. These things influence the quality of teachers you will get, and I hope to create a conducive work environment by using constructive dialogue and demonstrating care and appreciation for faculty.”
To date, a total of seven individuals, including the three incumbents, have requested the necessary information from the Superintendent’s Office for candidacy in the Amphi School District.
Five individuals from the Marana School District, including the three incumbents, have also requested information.
Newcomer Deanna Day is the first person to have filed her petition in the Amphi district, while Roger Condra, a former Pima County appraiser and high school teacher, is the sole candidate to have filed his petition for Marana, though each of the incumbents intend on filing from Marana.
Post, running for his ninth term on the Governing Board, said given the economy and cuts to education, the upcoming election will be an important one.
“We are competing for limited funding for public education and are required to do more with less,” he said. “We can still be successful as we have in the past, but it will require all participants in public education to step up and be accountable for their role. We must make sure that our limited resources are used wisely and that teaching time is efficient and effective.”
Post said experience on the Board would play a key role in overcoming the challenges that have burdened public schools.
“This is not the time for on-the-job training,” he said. “It is imperative we have a Board that has the experience and works well together to meet the challenges that the next four years will bring.”
Hopkins said a lot about her vision of the Marana School District will remain the same in her next four-year term.
“My vision is to have a school district that has developed its own niches of excellence—something MUSD is currently working towards through strengthening teacher development and focusing on quality, rather than quantity, when it comes to educating students,” she said.
Board members are responsible for a number of duties during their four-year terms, including: approving courses of study and instructional material, hiring all school district employees and determining duties, adopting the district’s fiscal year budget, and approving funds for the planning, expansion, improvement, construction, and use of school buildings.
The terms of the board members officially expire on Dec. 31. There is no limit to how many terms a board member can serve.
Candidates have until Aug. 8 at 5 p.m. to file their petitions with the Pima County Superintendent’s Office.