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UCSD School Board Appoints New Member Just Before October Election

Laura Kraegel/KUCB

Joe Henning was sworn in as a new member of the Unalaska City School District's board of education at a meeting on August 18. After about a half hour of deliberation in executive session, the three school board members that were present voted unanimously to appoint the longtime Unalaska resident to seat E, which was left vacant in July when former board president Fernando Barrera resigned.

Henning will fill the position, but only for about a month, before the seat goes up for grabs in October during the island's municipal election. 

Henning told board members he was interested in joining the school board because he's been a parent to students in the district for almost a quarter of a century.

"I have a pretty big investment — five graduates already and six more to follow," Henning said. "So I'd like to be able to … have an opinion on the board."

Henning owns a local construction company and has no prior experience working with the school district.

He was one of two candidates who submitted letters of interest for the appointment. The other was Unalaska Fire Chief Patrick Shipp, who did not attend the meeting and was therefore not interviewed for the position.

High school student Gerwin Mateo was also sworn in at last week's meeting as the board's student representative. He will serve for the academic year.

Henning's seat is one of three school board seats that will be on October's ballot. Seat D, held by Denise Rankin, who was appointed in October of last year, and Seat A, held by interim school board president Carlos Tayag, will also be up for grabs.

Aug. 23 is the deadline to file for candidacy for Unalaska's Oct. 5 municipal election. 

In order to be eligible, candidates must be a registered voter in Unalaska and have been living on the island for at least one year.

The deadline to register to vote in Unalaska's municipal election is Sept. 5.


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