Tristan Guevin takes the oath of office to serve on the Sitka School Board, after being appointed in June. He’s now filed to run for a full term on the board in October’s municipal election. (KCAW/Woolsey)

Tristan Guevin is the first candidate to file for one of three open seats on the Sitka School Board this year.

Guevin is currently an incumbent, having been appointed to a vacant seat on the board in June of this year.

Nevertheless, Guevin brings prior legislative experience to the table. He was elected to the Sitka Assembly for a three-year term beginning in 2014.

He says he’s motivated to run for school board for three main reasons:  Education, public service, and social justice.

Guevin believes education can be a powerful force for equity in the community, and in the country.

“Public education is this thing that can either mitigate or exacerbate social-political-economic marginalization,” said Guevin. “So by having a really strong public education system from preschool up through the university level, I think it just makes our country better, provides more opportunities, and is just one of those fundamental bedrocks of democracy.”

Guevin’s path to the school board is not the conventional route: Usually candidates looking to become more involved in local government move from school board to assembly, not the other way around.

Guevin says that advocacy goes both ways, and service means the same to him, regardless of which table he’s sitting at.

“As a school board member, it’s a similar role that you play as an assembly member with the city,” said Guevin. “And I think one of the main things there is just being a conduit for the citizens of Sitka for the public. Your role is kind of in that higher level, with budgets and with policy, and not getting into the details, not micromanaging. But … being an advocate for the citizens of Sitka – for the public – so that the Sitka School District is responsive to community needs and is the type of school district that our community wants it to be.”

Guevin has one child – a two-year old – so he considers himself a future district parent. He’s currently the director of organizational management at the Sitka Tribe of Alaska.

The filing period for the Sitka Municipal Election closes at 5 p.m. Friday, August 5. There are two seats open on the Sitka Assembly, and also the mayor’s seat. There are three seats open on the Sitka School Board. The municipal election is Tuesday, October 4.