Four candidates are competing for two seats on the Wrangell School Board. Caitlin Cardinell is running against two other candidates for a 2-year position on the board. Cardinell is 27 and believes her youth would be an asset to the school board. KSTK’s Quinton Chandler spoke with Cardinell about her candidacy.

Quinton Chandler: Why are you running for school board?

Caitlin Cardinell: I wanted to run for the school board because I realized that there are a lot of young parents that are starting to come into the school systems with kids and I feel that it’s important that their interests be represented by somebody who is closer to their age range. Another reason why I’m running is because I want to help foster a better relationship between the community and the school board. We all know that there have been some adverse relationships between the community and the school board recently. And I think there’s been a lot of tension, especially with how tight the state budget is. I think that a reason why I would be a good candidate on the school board is because I really enjoy working with people and collaborating as a team on issues that are for a common purpose and while we’re in a tough spot it’s easy for people to be defensive, on the defense. I think it’s really important for people to work together and I feel like I have an open minded personality. I’m a good listener and again I enjoy collaborating on a common cause.

Quinton Chandler: Do you have ideas as far as specific goals you would like the school board to achieve if you were on the board?

Caitlin Cardinell: My main focus right now is kind of what I had talked about, to really just promote the community’s interests and promote the participation of community.

Quinton Chandler: What are the biggest challenges that you see coming up for the school board in this next term you are hoping to serve in?

Caitlin Cardinell: Honestly, the budget. We’ve had to cut a lot of positions and people are absorbing and taking on multiple roles within the school systems and that’s putting a lot of stress on the faculty and it trickles down to the kids.

Quinton Chandler: Do you have any ideas on ways to use or find revenue to maintain or improve current opportunities for kids?

Caitlin Cardinell: I would say that our best chance for raising more money for the school would be searching for and securing grants.

Quinton Chandler: How do you think the school board could minimize the effect the state budget crisis could have on it in the next few years?

Caitlin Cardinell: I mean, there really isn’t a way that we can minimize it. We’re given a budget and we have to decide how best to use that budget. It’s going to be tough all around for everyone. Not just in our community, every city in Alaska. It’s especially tough for folks who are in more rural areas such as Wrangell. I think the best way, as you say, to minimize it would be to get the community on board and make sure that their interests are best represented. Because, after all being on the school board means that you represent the community.