Two seats on the Kyrene Elementary School District Governing Board will be up for grabs this fall, and the district is eager to talk to prospective candidates for those spots.

School board terms for members Rae Waters and Patrick McGill are up this year. Packets are already available from the Maricopa County Superintendent's Office to run for those seats in November's election.

And current board members Ross Robb and Michelle Hirsch and Superintendent David Schauer will be on hand Monday to answer questions from anyone interested in filling those two seats.

Hirsch encouraged community members to show up even if they're undecided about running or had never thought about service on the board. Hirsch had been a parent in the Kyrene district for 17 years and was involved in several parent groups, but never considered a board position until a Kyrene employee encouraged her to go to an information night.

"After going, I thought, ‘Wow, this is a way I could give back to Kyrene, make an impact on education in the community,'" she said. "The job has turned out to be so much more rewarding than I thought it would be."

Candidates don't have to be experts in school budgets or curriculum, Hirsch said. Board members provide guidance and pass the policies that govern the district instead of running the day-to-day operations, and Hirsch has found administrators more than willing to sit down and explain a process for adopting materials or why a budget proposal was written up in a certain way.

Robb also encouraged people to consider giving back through board service. It's an unpaid position but worthwhile, he said.

"It involves kids who do extraordinary things," Robb said. "And in many cases it involves kids not in some conceptual way, but it involves kids right in our neighborhoods."

He especially encouraged people with a financial background to consider running for the positions.

"More than ever, we are trying to do more with less. Which makes the job not only for the school board but also the administration even more challenging," Robb said.

The informational session will be from 5:30 to 6:30 p.m. May 17 in Training Room Four at the Kyrene District Office, 8700 S. Kyrene Road, Tempe. For more information, call (480) 783-4162.

Kyrene residents interested in running for the board can pick up a candidate packet from the Maricopa County Superintendent's Office or request one online at www.maricopa.gov/Schools/SchoolElections/seboard.aspx.

Candidates must file nomination paperwork and petition signatures between July 6 and Aug. 4 to qualify for the November ballot.

Contact writer: (480) 898-4903 or akeim@ahwatukee.com.

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