Three run for 2 spots on School Board

Posted: Friday, August 27, 2004

LaVonne Garvey, a grant writer and planner with the Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority, has joined two other candidates for two open seats on the Juneau School Board.

She submitted her application Thursday, the last day to file as a candidate for the city's Oct. 5 election, and was certified by the city clerk's office.

Incumbent School Board President Mary Becker and credit union executive Bill Peters also are certified candidates, having announced before deadline day. Incumbent Alan Schorr did not run for re-election.

School Board candidates do not run for a particular seat. The top two vote-getters will win three-year terms on the seven-member board.

Garvey is mother of two students at Juneau-Douglas High School. Her family moved to Juneau two years ago, she said. She was born and raised in Wrangell and has lived in Petersburg and on Prince of Wales Island.

Garvey is on the Boys and Girls Club's board of directors and was active in youth centers in Petersburg and Craig and in a Native education program in Petersburg, she said.

Garvey said she's not running as a political action.

"I'm not really there to say whether something should be done or not done. I'm there to hear what the community has to say," she said. "I'm very much into networking and brainstorming. I think there's a way to listen to both sides and come up with a plan that suits everybody."

Garvey said she isn't running to address particular issues, but she mentioned the question of housing future high school students and racial relations.

Voters in October will be asked to approve $54 million in bonds to build a high school at Dimond Park.

"I know we need to do something. Whether it's a new school, I'm not positive," she said.

JDHS was roiled by racial incidents last school year.

Garvey, who said she has been talking to students and teachers at JDHS, said the racial issue isn't a Native one as much as it's a cultural issue. The different cultures at JDHS have their own cliques, Garvey said. Students need to accept each other, she said.

Garvey, speaking in general, said parents need to be more involved in the schools.

"I think a lot of it is we can't expect our teachers to do it all," she said.

• Eric Fry can be reached at

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