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Candidates queue up for school board

It didn’t take long for candidates to drop their names into the two races for North Kitsap School Board, with four local residents already in the hunt for seats by the filing’s official opening Monday morning in Port Orchard.

The District 1 position, which has been held for two decades by Dick Endresen, already has three suitors lined up to take his place: Grant Romaine, a Poulsbo Police Detective, Tom Anderson, a retired school teacher and Naval officer, and Brian Maule, a home-based travel consultant.

One candidate has filed for the District 3 position, held for two terms by Bethany McDonald: Melanie S. Mohler, a school volunteer and homemaker.

Filing for the positions must occur by Friday. Endresen and McDonald have already said they won’t seek re-election.

Anderson, a resident of Noll Road in Poulsbo who originally moved to Little Norway in 1985, said his top priority will be both establishing high standards for North Kitsap schools and financial accountability.

“We need to constantly reassess our goals and make sure that we have the challenging classes for the students who need them without neglecting any other student,” he said. “And we need to wisely use the limited resources that we have.”

A long standing member of the Navy, Anderson retired in 1992 and earned his teaching credential. He’s since taught for nine years full time at the Bainbridge School District, and has more recently been substituting for both Bainbridge and North Kitsap schools. He taught geometry and trigonometry at NKHS last semester.

Romaine, who lives on 10th Avenue in Poulsbo, has run for the district seat three times.

“It’s hard to go against Endresen,” he said with a laugh.

The 18-year Poulsbo resident said he has concerns with the Washington Assessment of Student Learning, a test his daughter Diane, who is entering the 10th grade at North Kitsap High School, will have to pass in order to graduate.

He said that decisions made by the school board, such as planning the new Kingston High School, will affect the school district for years to come, and he wants to be a part of that.

“Overall, how the district plans for the future,” Romaine said. “You can’t plan for the present. You have to plan for the future.”

Maule, who lives on Cardinal Lane, has been a Poulsbo resident since 1990. He runs a home-based travel consulting business.

With his daughter Simone at Poulsbo Junior High, daughter Annika at Poulsbo Elementary and wife, Leslie, teaching at Breidablik Elementary, he felt the time was right to throw his hat in the ring. Though the learning curve on school board will be steep, he is a self-proclaimed advocate for public education who wanted to give back to the community and “step up to the plate,” he commented.

“My biggest priority is that we have lots of choices for children,” Maule said. “Every child is different.”

He did note that since his wife was hired before his possible election to the board, his running does not create a conflict of interest.

In the District 3 position, Mohler, a resident of Sandy Hook Road, said that she wanted to up the ante with regard to her volunteering efforts.

“I just thought I’d like to take volunteering efforts a step further,” said Mohler, a six-year member of the Poulsbo Junior High School leadership team.

With her only son Justin recently graduated this year from North Kitsap High School, Mohler said one of her top priorities will be that more students in the district’s future will have a chance to turn their own tassels and go to the next level of education.

“That doesn’t mean just college,” she said, “but all opportunities beyond high school.”

She also mentioned that she wants to ensure “a smooth transition” as the district changes to a K-5, 6-8, and 9-12 grade level configuration and adds a new high school in Kingston in 2007.

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