MARQUETTE - Only one candidate will appear on the ballot in the race for an open seat on the Marquette school board, but another candidate has come forward, mounting a campaign as a write-in candidate.
Marquette resident Carrie Biolo is challenging current board president Scott Brogan, also of Marquette, for his seat on the board in Tuesday's election.
Biolo's name will not be on the ballot, while Brogan's will.
Biolo said she decided to run for the six-year seat because of "changes to the entire school district, the music department, building usage - my fourth-grade daughter is at Bothwell (Middle School), overcrowding of various schools, as well as the cutting of 13 teachers at the high school.
"I'm formerly the MSHS band assistant director. It became clear to me, with the changes going on in the school district this year, I would serve the students better in a different capacity."
She said the biggest challenges facing the district in the coming years were largely funding issues.
"Like all of the school districts, we're going to have to face what to do with our limited funding from the state, how to increase other possible sources of revenue," Biolo said, adding that another big challenge is communication.
"Comprehensive community engagement is one of the fundamental pieces currently missing from (Marquette Area Public Schools) and that needs to be addressed."
Brogan also said the district needs to communicate better with the community, citing the need to educate the public on the upcoming renewal of the district's 18-mill operating millage next year.
"That's the most pressing concern on my mind right now," Brogan said. "That's going to take work. It's going to take communication and education, engaging the community to get that passed."
Brogan said the district's new strategic planning process will help address the issue of communication.
"One of the most exciting things that's happening is strategic planning. That's really about to take off here with strong involvement with a pretty wide cross-section of our community, and that's exciting because the district - in a number of ways - is at a crossroads," Brogan said. "The big issues we're hoping to get input from strategic planning on are building usage, grade realignment and configuration.
"I've greatly enjoyed and I've been honored to serve as a school board member for the last eight years," he said. "I do see it as a privilege and a responsibility. I think I've got more to give."
Polls will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. election day.
Jackie Stark can be reached at 906-228-2500, ext. 242.