Juneau, Alaska (KINY) Three new members were sworn into the Board of Education Kevin Allen, Paul Kelly and Elizabeth Siddon.
The Board also honored outgoing members Emil Mackey, Andi Story and Josh Keaton.
Mackey, who served one three year term, said the school board position is about the kids. "Our nation and state have let down our kids for too long. We are doing the best that we can with the money that is here, but it's not enough. The kids, the community and the teachers deserve better."
Keaton, who also served on three-year term, said he intends to remain active in the school especially on budget issues. "It is not a final chapter. I was elected President of the Floyd Dryden Site Council, I will still be very involved in education."
Keaton encouraged the board members to keep the interests of all students in mind.
Story, who served 15 years on the board, is running for a state house seat. She is a former Board President, Vice President and Clerk. She is a past president of the Alaska School Board Association.
Executive Director of the Alaska Council of School Administrators of School Board Lisa Skiles Parady presented an excellence in education award to Story. The award recognizes school board members for meritorious service to the community.
Rep. Justin Parrish presented a citation award to Story for her work on behalf of education. He said the award was passed unanimously by the entire state legislature. He also thanked Senator Dennis Egan who also was instrumental in getting the citation approved.
Story said the greatest civil rights for every child is the right to a free public education, "We have an awesome responsibility to try and help our district come together for each and every kid."
Story said the public can help the fight for education by lobbying Senators Lisa Murkowski and Dan Sullivan and Congressman Don Young, to push them to increase federal funding.
"The more unity that we have is strength through unity. This means the state board of education, school boards, superintendents, teacher unions, if we are all united and together it means good things for kids," she added.
CBJ Attorney Robert Palmer issued the oath of office to the new members.
Phil Merrell, a counselor at Thunder Mountain High School, announced seniors Hannah Harvey and Alex Way were the National Merit Scholars for the district this year.
In other actions, parent Thea Howard urged the board to open up opportunities for students adept in art and vocational studies for science courses.
The boys cross country team at Juneau Douglas won the grade point average award at the state finals. They finished sixth in the athletic part of the competition.
The Board re-elected Brian Holst as President, elected Dan DeBartolo as Vice President, and Jeff Short was elected board clerk.