Six new candidates running for FNSB School Board

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The Fairbanks North Star Borough will hold its regular municipal election on October 3rd, which means potential new members for borough assembly, the school board, and the Interior Alaska Natural Gas Utility Board, as well as Fairbanks and North Pole city councils.

Today, we offer a look at the candidates running for school board, as well as its current members.

There are six new candidates running for school board, with current members Sean Rice and Wendy Dominique running as incumbents.

Taking a closer look at the educational backgrounds of the candidates, all have some sort of teaching background.

Matt Wade has worked in the district for 15 years as a 5th grade teacher at North Pole and Crawford Elementary schools.

Michael Kenna settled into Fairbanks as part of the military with 7 years of teaching experience.

Tim Doran is a former Principal of Denali Elementary with 23 years of experience.

Chrya Sanderson is the current Alaska Native Education tutor at North Pole High School.

Deborah Rinio is a nine year district employee with experience as a kindergarten through 12th grade teacher.

And Jodi Rhoades has experience as a substitute teacher.

Board President Heidi Haas commented over email, saying, "It is fascinating that all the candidates have had some school experience as that isn't the norm in my experience."

As for the current board members, many have served on Parent Teacher Associations and other committees, but none have the formal teaching experience that the candidates do.

Haas grew up as a "teacher's kid" and thought that was what she would do as a career, but realized her talents would be better utilized in the business world.

Since then, she has been involved in PTA, started a non-profit, and served on numerous local and statewide committees and boards.

Vice President Michael O'Brien worked at a Montessori school as a tutor and currently gives a university perspective to the board.

Treasurer Allyson Lambert has 24 years of military experience.
While she doesn't have any formal teaching or education experience, her interest in the school board came when she wanted to give back to the community that supported her while she was in the military.

Clerk Sharon McConnell was previously the Executive Director at Doyon Limited, which offers scholarships to Alaska Native students.
She also served on a committee that formed Effie Kokrine Charter School.

Member Wendy Dominique doesn't have formal teaching or education experience, but has given a parent perspective during her 12 years on the school board.

And Member Sean Rice has served as the Badger Road PTA President and chaired the Board Ethnic Committee.

As of news time, Member Thomas Bartels hasn't responded to a request for an interview.