As of Friday’s (8-4-17) deadline, two candidates have filed for two open seats on the Sitka School Board.
Incumbent Dionne Brady-Howard is a Social Studies teacher at Mt. Edgecumbe High School, just starting her 18th year. She was appointed to the board in September of 2016 to serve out the term of former board president Tim Fulton.
Brady-Howard is a lifelong Sitkan. Her two children attend district schools, Blatchley and Sitka High.
She wants to continue the learning experience she began in her first year on the board, and bring a teacher’s perspective.
“I’m a parent and community member, I’m an active member of my Native community, and also as an educator I think I bring unique perspective to the board, just in terms of reminding folks of the educator side of things as well.”
The second candidate for School Board also served last year, but technically he’s not an incumbent.
18-year-old Elias Erickson was the student representative on the board last year — an appointed seat that goes to the vice-president of the Sitka High Student Body. The student representative has a full vote on every question before the board, with the exception of finance.
Erickson says he’s gotten to know the board, as well as traveled with them on lobbying trips to the capital. Although he’s comfortable working with day-to-day issues in schools, Erickson says he’s most interested in legislative policy questions.
“It’s something that I could be effective at doing and I could provide a unique perspective for the board, to make sure that we’re giving students in Sitka the absolute best education possible.”
Erickson will be a senior at Sitka High. The seat he’s running for is a three-year term. He wants voters to know he’s committed to serve.
“I am absolutely sure that I will be staying one year after Sitka High School, if not two, just to work. I would absolutely love to continue on and continue my education, and leave Sitka eventually, but I also want to make sure that I’m eventually ready for that. But I do see myself staying in Sitka for an amount of time after high school.”
Erickson has lived all of his 18 years in Sitka. He is running for a seat that will be vacated by Tom Conley, who has served for 15 of the last 17 years on the Sitka School Board, and five years on the Ketchikan School board prior to that.
The municipal election in Sitka is Tuesday, October 3.