Chilkat Valley News - Serving Haines and Klukwan, Alaska since 1966

Swinton retires from school board


July 5, 2018

A 16-year member of the Haines Borough school board has decided to move on, adding a third seat to the October municipal election ballot.

Sarah Swinton has been a board member since the borough was consolidated and the school board first elected in 2002. She will leave her seat a year before her term ends.

“My last kid just graduated in May and I feel like I’ve had a long time on the board and done well,” Swinton said. “I’ll stay on the board till October. I’m just putting it out there now as a courtesy so there can be a vote and not a board-appointed position.”

Seats held by Michael Wald and Inez Gross also will be on the October ballot. Wald said he will run for re-election and Gross said she will not.

The school board also heard at its June 28 meeting that the budget for fiscal year 2018 would end in the black June 30, with revenue exceeding expenses by $13,495 — which is better than expected. The annual budget is about $4.5 million. The budget approved for this year had projected a $191,367 deficit for the fiscal year.

Higher enrollment than expected generated additional state per-student funding, while the administration succeeded with more costs cuts, said school board president Anne Marie Palmieri.

The board also approved the hire of second-grade teacher Tracy Getchell, who is married to incoming superintendent Roy Getchell, and added a second full-time custodian, Connor O’Daniel. Tracy Getchell will replace Kim Sundberg, who was promoted to dean of students this year.

The filing period for the school board is Aug. 1-20; the election will be Oct. 9. The next board meeting is 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, July 10.


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