School board election set for Feb. 5

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LAPS: Information meeting scheduled for next week

School superintendent Gene Schmidt said it’s not too soon to begin thinking about the School Board election slated for Feb. 5.

Two White Rock positions will be up for election. Current Piñon Elementary School Board representative Dawn Venhaus and Chamisa Elementary School Board representative Melanie McKinley announced that they would not seek reelection.

A special information night is set for Dec. 4 at the Chamisa Elementary School Library. The informational meeting will start at 5:30 p.m. Board position one represents the west side of White Rock, Pajarito Acres and the Royal Crest Trailer Court of Los Alamos. Board position two represents the west side of White Rock. Both Board positions are for four years.

According to school superintendent Gene Schmidt, 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 annul budget that will provide the financial basis for the buildings, furnishings, staff, materials and equipment needed to carry out education 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. 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 members 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., Los Alamos, one day only, between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Dec. 18.