With municipal election season quickly approaching, more local candidates are beginning to emerge.
Elizabeth Siddon, a research fishery biologist for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, filed a letter of intent on Sunday to run for a spot on the Board of Education. The election will take place Oct. 2.
Siddon is the second person to declare her candidacy for the board, as the Alaska Public Offices Commission website lists that Paul Kelly filed a letter of intent in May. School Board Vice President Josh Keaton and board member Emil Mackey are both up for re-election this fall, though neither has filed a letter of intent to run. School Board Clerk Andi Story, whose term was set to expire this fall, is running for the state house seat in the Mendenhall Valley.
Siddon, 40, was unavailable to talk Monday but answered questions via email.
“I am running for School Board because I believe in the importance of education and providing a safe, productive learning environment to all students,” Siddon said in the email. “I am a full-time working mother with a son in the Special Education program, so I think I bring a diverse viewpoint to the Board.”
Siddon, who has a PhD in Fisheries from the University of Alaska Fairbanks, co-founded SouthEast Exchange, which is a group of teachers and community members who bring firsthand science experiences to Juneau students. She also said she’s been involved in the Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education’s Early Intervention Committee since 2015.
She is currently on the Alaska Early Childhood Coordinating Council (AECCC) as a statewide parent representative. The AECCC is a group that focuses on promoting development of students up to age 8.
Siddon said she believes her energy and her willingness to interact with the community stand out as traits that will help her on the board. She’s lived in Juneau since 2002, and this is her first time running for a spot on the board. She also included a nickname, Ebett, in her paperwork and her name appears as Elizabeth (Ebett) Siddon on the APOC website.
Siddon has watched the board operate over the years and knows the board’s work is not easy.
“First, I think the school district has faced, and will continue to face, tough decisions regarding the budget and how funds will be allocated effectively and fairly,” Siddon said in the email. “Second, I think increased two-way communication to further involve and inform the community in the decisions being made by the School Board (is a challenge).”
The official filing period to run in the October municipal election runs from Aug. 3- 13. Filing a letter of intent allows a candidate to begin fundraising. To vote, residents must register or update their registration 30 days before the election.
• Contact reporter Alex McCarthy at 523-2271 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at @akmccarthy.