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Bethlehem school board seats up for grabs

The deadline to declare a run for Bethlehem's Board of Education is fast approaching; petitions are due Monday, April 21.

Qualified voters in the school district who are U.S. citizens over the age of 18 can run for the board as long as they gather 102 signatures. Area voters will elect the board members during the statewide May 20 vote, which will take place at the high school this year.

In Bethlehem, there are three seats up for grabs with two current board members not seeking re-election and vice president James Dering up for re-election.

There is no limit to the number of terms a member can serve according to the Educations Law. It is a voluntary office with no salary or other compensation. There are typically two or three seats open for a general election each year that coincide with the school's budget vote and local library budgets and trustee elections.

During the March 5 board of education meeting, board members Warren Stoker and Robin Storey announced they would not run for another term. Both have been on the board since 1999, and each had served as its president and vice president.

Dering has been on the board since 2005.

Current board president James Lytle made a call for candidates during the March board meeting, saying it was important that people be involved in the community and that having a child in the district in not a requirement to run for office.

It will be a challenge next year, Lytle said at the meeting. "I do hope whoever runs and is interested will work with us during this transition."

He also said at the time that he was sad to see Stoker and Storey go, and he enjoyed working with them on the board.

Part of the transition Lytle referred to is the retirement of Supervisor Les Loomis, who will be leaving at the end of June after 21 years with the district.

Michael Tebanno, who is the school's current assistant superintendent of educational programs, was named Loomis' successor during the April 2 board meeting.

Nominating petitions for the three open board seats can be picked up from Deputy Board Clerk Michelle Curtis or business office staff members at the district's offices at 90 Adams Place, Delmar. For information, call 439-7481.

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