Six seek two school board spots

It looks like six people are running for two open seats on the Oak Harbor School Board.

Three newcomers — Ace James, Corey Johnson and Brien Lillquist — have signed up for Kathy Chalfant’s seat. She is not running again.

Incumbent School Board member Gary Wallin is facing challengers Steven Schulz and Bill Burnett.

Despite repeated phone calls, Lillquist, who filed Thursday, refused to comment about his candidacy.

Lillquist hung up after several phone calls Friday morning and finally said he didn’t want to talk about his candidacy. He currently serves on the North Whidbey Park and Recreation District board of commissioners.

James, who opened a business called Whidbey Island Promotions last week, said he decided to run after spending the past three years volunteering in Oak Harbor schools.

“I like working for the kids and I feel I can make a difference on the school board,” James said.

In his three years of volunteering, James has helped with a peer mentorship program and a summer outreach academy. He said serving on the school board would be another way to advocate for the youth in the area.

James has lived on the island for the past four years. In addition to opening his own business, he is also a full time student at ITT and hopes to graduate in 2007. He is married and has three children ages 10, 5 and 2.

Johnson also has a history of volunteering and helping Oak Harbor schools. He is a member of Citizens for Better Schools, the community group that helped promote the maintenance levy that voters approved last March. He served as fund-raising chair and also served on the strategic planning committee and capital facilities committee.

Johnson has lived in Oak Harbor for most of his life and is a co-owner of Island Construction Site and Utilities.

He is married and has three children ages 16, 13 and 11.

Chalfant has served on the Oak Harbor School Board since 2001. She said she decided not to run again this November.

Lillquist’s position on the park and recreation commission is also up for election this year. He didn’t file for re-election; Robert Wilson and Charles Niedzialkowski are vying for his spot.

Two other park and recreation positions are up for election. Harvey Prosser is currently running unopposed and Sally Ann Dillon filed to run for Janet Sabalausky’s position.

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