Cass Pook was the longest-serving member of the Sitka School Board, before she lost her seat in a close three-way race last fall. (KCAW photo)

Former Sitka School Board member Cass Pook has filed to reclaim her seat, in this October’s municipal election.

Pook first joined the school board in 2000, eventually becoming its president in 2016. But she lost her seat last fall by 284 votes, in a close three-way election.

Pook says her previous years of experience on the board will be valuable. She says that she wasn’t ready to leave the board last year.

“I didn’t feel like I was finished with just advocating for students and for the community of Sitka,” said Pook. “And being a veteran and knowing a lot of the history — I was on (the board) 17 years — of not just Sitka, but what Alaska has endured, I feel like I have some knowledge to add back to the board.”

Pook also served on the board of directors of the Alaska Association of School Boards, a post she held for four years. If elected to the Sitka School Board, she says that she intends to run for another term on the AASB board, to ensure that someone from Southeast has an active role in advocacy for education in the state capitol.

“We do advocate for education at a higher level,” she said. “And just having a voice from Southeast is huge, and makes an impact. And I’ve felt that in the past I’ve had an impact on our education in the schools.”

Pook says her priorities are school climate, a welcome environment, and student achievement “outside the box of core classes.” Pook supports vocational education and extracurricular activities to “build assets of wellness and success in our children.”

Pook was born in Sitka in 1962 to Pete and Bertha Karras. She and her husband Stewart Pook have five children. Pook is a suicide prevention counselor at SEARHC, and a traditional bead artist. She is pursuing a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work at the University of Alaska.

Only one seat on the Sitka School Board is up for reelection this October. Current board president Jen McNichol’s term expires this year.