And then there were three... for school board

Johnston files, making repeat of 2011 vacancy unlikely

Michelle Johnston’s certification Friday afternoon as a candidate for the Juneau School District’s Board of Education means that barring the unforeseen, voters will have as many names on the October ballot as there are school board seats open this time around.


In 2011, when two seats were up for election, only incumbent Sally Saddler filed for school board. The other seat was filled by a write-in candidate, Sean O’Brien.

Johnston brings to three the number of certified candidates for school board this year.

The school board’s incumbent vice president, Andrea Story, filed for reelection Aug. 3. Former school board member Destiny Sargeant, a clinical psychologist, turned in her signatures Thursday.

Since there are three school board seats up for election this year and three certified candidates, that means all three seats can be filled by a candidate who is named on the ballot, unless one of them changes her mind and asks that her name be struck.

“People have until Aug. 23 at 4:30 [p.m.] to remove their name from the ballot,” said City Clerk Laurie Sica. “To be pulled from the ballot before it goes to print, we need to know it by the 23rd.”

But with Sargeant and then Johnston filing on consecutive days this past week, people seem more interested in getting on the ballot than getting off it.

Candidates for both the City and Borough of Juneau Assembly and the school board must submit 25 signatures from qualified Juneau voters by Monday at 4:30 p.m. in order to make the ballot.

Johnston said Friday that she does not yet have a definite strategy for how she will introduce herself to voters, having not run for office before. But she said she wants to show that she will be “listening to the needs and the wants of the parents of our school district.”

“I have a lot of support from family and friends,” said Johnston, a mother of five who works for the Alaska Division of Corporations, Business and Professional Licensing.

Several “colleagues and coworkers” have offered to help with Johnston’s campaign, she said. She remarked, “I’ll probably be depending on those resources as well.”

• Contact reporter Mark D. Miller at 523-2279 or at


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