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NKSD’s Catherine Ahl says ‘that’s all’

After nearly eight years of service to the teachers, students and staff of the North Kitsap School District, board member Catherine Ahl won’t be returning to her post on the North Kitsap School Board in 2008.

Ahl, who’s been North Kitsap’s legislative representative for six years and served as board president for the other two, announced last week that she won’t seek a third term.

While she said she enjoyed her time serving the community, it’s time for her to move on, Ahl said.

“I am tired. I think eight years is long enough,” she said. “It’s time to get some new blood in there.”

Her final meeting as a board member will be in December.

“There is still so much work to be done (in the next eight months),” she said. “I haven’t had a chance to reflect on it yet.”

In November, three school board positions will be up for grabs. Citizens interested in the slots must file for office by June 4 as the primary election will be Aug. 21 this year.

“I would like to encourage those who care about our children’s education to consider serving their community by running for a school board position,” Ahl said. “I served on the school board with some really great people. That’s what I enjoyed the most over the years.”

Ahl said the highlight of her time on the board was when the a capital bond was passed in 2001.

“Our community came together and showed their support for all of the schools in the district,” she said. “It was a lot of work. Passing it with 63 percent of the votes was huge.”

NKSD board president Melanie Mohler has been Ahl’s colleague for the last 18 months and noted how intense Ahl is about making a difference in lives of children.

“Her passion is all about the kids. She cares about what is best for all kids,” Mohler said. “Catherine works diligently to make sure the decisions she makes are based on that. She’s a wonderful person who displays tremendous direction and focus.”

Mohler said Ahl was someone she could turn to, if she was ever in need of an answer or an opinion.

“Catherine’s been a great mentor that I could always call on to share my concerns with,” she said. “Even if we didn’t agree on issues we could always talk about it. I appreciated that. It was honor serving with her on the board.”

NKSD board member Dan Delaney said he has also enjoyed working with Ahl.

“Catherine always has been good to work with,” Delaney said. “She’s a dedicated person who’s a very hard worker. She’s stuck with the job on the school board for eight years. That requires a lot of commitment.”

Delaney said Ahl was instrumental in helping ensure the public supported school levies during her tenure.

“While she was on the board, two levies were passed,” he said. “She did a lot of work on those levies to help get them passed for our students.”

The two agreed that Ahl’s cognitive abilities are evident in every single board meeting.

“Catherine is very conscientious. Especially when it comes to budgeting issues,” Delaney said. “She’s very concerned about the welfare of all students. Each student’s welfare is first and foremost in her mind.”

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