Column: School Board Election Slated for Feb. 6, 2013

By Dr. Gene Schmidt
Los Alamos Superintendent of Schools

It is not too soon to begin thinking about the School Board election slated for Feb. 5, 2013.

Two White Rock positions will be up for election. 

Current Pinon Elementary School Board representative Dawn Venhaus and Chamisa Elementary School Board representative Melanie McKinley announced that they would not seek re-election.

The school district and community is grateful for their years of service on the Board.

To help inform the public about these open Board positions, a special information night is set for 5:30 p.m. Dec. 4, at the Chamisa Elementary School Library.

Board position 1 represents the west side of White Rock, Pajarito Acres and the Royal Crest Court of Los Alamos.

Board position 2 represents the west side of White Rock. Both Board positions are for four years.

Board members have a wide range of responsibilities. A major function of any School Board is to develop and adopt policies that spell out how the school district will operate.

The Board is also responsible for designating the chief executive, as well as planning, and setting short and long-range goals. 

The Board, in consultation with the superintendent, is responsible for approving and adopting an annual budget that will provide the financial basis for the buildings, furnishings, staff, materials, and equipment needed to carry out educational programs.

Other duties include working closely with school administration to set clear standards for students, and adopt policies on which instructional programs will be based.

And, School Board members are responsible for determining school housing needs, set policies that affect the climate of the schools and guide the actions of administrators and other school staff. 

And finally, they communicate with various constituencies, advocate for students and hear appeals from school staff members or students on issues that involve Board policy implementation.

To be eligible to file, a person must be a resident of the district, a qualified elector of the State of New Mexico, and a resident of one of the School Board Districts from which a member is elected. 

To become a candidate individuals must file a Declaration of Candidacy in the form required by Section 1-22-8, NMSA 1978, in the Office of the Los Alamos County Clerk, 2451 Central Ave., between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. – on one day only – Dec. 18.

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