Becker, Peters OK'd for School Board ballot

Two three-year term seats open on board in October 5 city election

Posted: Thursday, August 19, 2004

Mary Becker, the incumbent Juneau School Board president, and credit union executive Bill Peters have been certified as candidates for the School Board.

Two seats are open on the School Board in the Oct. 5 city election. Both are three-year terms. Unlike Juneau Assembly candidates, School Board candidates do not run for a particular seat.

The filing period for candidates began Monday and ends at 4:30 p.m. Aug. 26.

The other incumbent, Alan Schorr, has said he would not run.

During her six years on the School Board, Becker has participated in the team of city and school district officials planning the renovation of Juneau-Douglas High School and construction of a high school at Dimond Park.

"I'm running again because we have a number of issues still before us - the second high school, just basically facility needs in general," said Becker, who taught in Juneau for 30 years. "I'm not ready to give up being an active member of the education community. It's been such a big part of my life."

Peters, an executive at Alaska USA Federal Credit Union, ran for the School Board last year and lost by one vote to Schorr for the last open slot. Peters didn't ask for a recount. But a number of citizens, including teachers unhappy with the School Board, petitioned the city for a recount, which Schorr won by four votes.

This spring, Peters helped lead the Build It Now committee, which urged voters not to block construction of the Dimond Park high school. Voters in a special election on May 25 stopped the project. Peters then served on a mayor's focus group that recommended to the School Board what to do about future high school needs.

The Assembly has introduced an ordinance to place on the October ballot a bond measure for up to $54 million to build a high school at Dimond Park.

Peters said he's running again because he wants to serve the school district and he wants to urge voters to support the second high school. Peters, who has three children in the schools, has been on the site councils at Mendenhall River Community School and JDHS.

"I'm just looking to be more engaged and involved in the decision-making process," Peters said.

As assets, he cited his experience on the board of nonprofits such as Big Brothers/Big Sisters and the Juneau Chamber of Commerce, and his professional knowledge of management and finance.

Schorr will be leaving the School Board after 13 years.

"I just think 13 years is long enough. New blood is needed. New perspective," he said. "It's been an honor and a privilege to serve, but my time is up."

• Eric Fry can be reached at eric.fry@juneauempire.com.



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