KODIAK — The Kodiak Island Borough School District board of education faced a difficult decision Monday as three candidates were interviewed in the selection process to join the board through the beginning of a new academic year.

Each candidate has experience with the school district and offers skills to contribute as a member.

The school board can choose only one. That choice will be made official at next week’s regular meeting.

Candidate Richard Walker spoke of his experience, through employment at the Coast Guard base, with projects, operations and human resources.

He said his background in construction would give insight into future construction and maintenance projects with the school district.

Walker has children currently enrolled in the school district in grades four, six and eight.

“I’ve done everything from coaching in sports to acting in the plays,” Walker said, noting that these ancillary activities craft a well-rounded individual.

Retired Kodiak High School teacher Giovanni Tallino said after teaching

in the district for 27 years, working in education is an addiction he wants to continue to pursue.

“I’ve been on the front line of education and I want to bring my experience on the front line ... where these decisions are made that affect our children and our community,” Tallino said.

Baranov Museum director Katie Oliver graduated from the school district and has children at North Star Elementary school.

Apart from her work with nonprofit organizations for the past 10 years and her position as director, which has given her experience in grant writing and public funding sources, Oliver was also the chair of the Alaska Historical Society this past year, a position where she promoted advocacy.

“I really enjoyed advocacy work and organizing communications and grassroots efforts to inspire people to speak publicly about what’s important to them,” Oliver said. “I think that’s something I can continue on the school board.”

Each of the candidates, when asked what they would do differently in the school district, said they would strive to improve communication.

Whoever the school board chooses, the appointment will last until the October municipal election. The election will feature a one-year school board seat to fulfill the rest of Petal Ruch’s term, and two three-year seats as Jeff Stephan’s and Peggy Rauwolf’s terms expire.

The nomination petitions to run for the three open school board seats are available through the borough clerk’s office.

Contact Mirror writer Wes Hanna at whanna@kodiakdailymirror.com.

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