Lessons in school elections

Steve Sturgeon speaks at the William S. Hart School District in regards to School Funding. Current school board members present information Monday at an orientation event in order to help prospective candidates understand the role of governing board members and prepare for the election process. Eddy Martinez/The Signal

Multiple seats on the Castaic, Hart, Saugus, Sulphur Springs, Newhall and College of the Canyons governing boards will be up for election this November as candidates have already begun declaring their intentions ahead of the upcoming filing period.

As a result, current school board members presented information on Monday at a candidate orientation event in order to help prospective applicants understand the role of governing board members and prepare for the election process.

Candidates aren’t required to declare their candidacy for school board elections until sometime between July 16 and Aug. 10, but Linda Storli said it was important for the group to meet to lay the groundwork for candidates.

“The mission is to help each other,” said Storli, President of the Trustees Association and a member of Hart’s governing board.

Storli joined superintendent Steve Doyle, board presidents, a guy who was simply there to learn and other district officials in the presentation of a range of topics on Monday.

Castaic governing board member Mayreen Burk kicked off the meeting with a discussion about the roles and responsibilities of a governing board member.

“You set the direction for the district,” by establishing budget priorities as well as an efficient organizational structure, she said to the fellow members, superintendents and prospective candidates who joined her in the room. “We provide leadership and inspiration.”

Burkey carried on to discuss the importance of integrity, which was echoed by other board members in attendance as they took turns sharing their experiences with the timeline and process for filing for candidacy, the Ralph M. Brown Act, school funding and the board meeting agenda.

“I acknowledge and appreciate anybody who takes the time to do what we do, because this is not a two meeting job.” Sturgeon said at the close of Monday’s meeting. “When you come forward to be a member, then make certain you’re willing to talk, listen and assist every kid in your district.”

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