Update: On Final Day to File, 11 Candidates Vie for 3 Open Seats on Stillwater School Board

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Stillwater Area Public Schools Board of Education

Last updated at 3:30 p.m., Tuesday, Aug. 16:

The filing period for three seats on the Stillwater Area Public Schools Board of Education comes to a close today at 5 p.m.

Seats currently held by Kathy Buchholz, Amy Burback and Mike Ptacek are up for election in November.

Entering the final day to file affidavits of candidacy, 11 candidates will run for the three open seats, according to Stillwater Area Public School’s website.

The 11 people to file affidavits of candidacy so far are:

  • Amy Burback, of Stillwater
  • Chad Gamradt, of Stillwater
  • Donald G. Hovland, of Oak Park Heights
  • Sarah Stivland, of Stillwater
  • Jerry Clark, of Stillwater
  • Rochelle Quandt, of Lake Elmo
  • Robert Craggs, of Lakeland
  • Tom DeGree, of Lake Elmo
  • Michelle Deziel, of Lake Elmo
  • Mike Ptacek, of Stillwater
  • Jennifer Pelletier, of Lake Elmo

Two people —  Sebastian (Sam) Hernandez and Bob Katula, both of Stillwater — withdrew their affidavits of candidacy.

Katula said he withdrew from the race to pursue “an unexpected opportunity” outside of the district.

Elections for three and then four seats on the board are held every two years. School Board members serve four-year terms.

The Stillwater school board has come under fire since approving Superintendent Denise Pontrelli’s BOLD proposal. The district currently faces two lawsuits relating to BOLD and a third challenging the latest bond referendum.

Buchholz and Burback cast two of the five votes in favor of the BOLD plan that will close Withrow, Marine and Oak Park elementary schools in 2017, if the vote holds up to the legal challenges. Ptacek is a vocal opponent of the plan to close the three schools.

If you are interested in filing for office, Affidavits of Candidacy are available from the school district clerk at 1875 South Greeley Street, in Stillwater. The filing fee for school board is $2.

A school board candidate must be an eligible voter, must be 21 years of age or more when taking office, must have been a resident of the school district from which the candidate seeks election for thirty (30) days before the general election, and must have no other affidavit on file for any other office at the same primary or next ensuing general election.

The Board holds its regular business meetings on the second and fourth Thursdays of every month beginning at 6:30 p.m. If you are interested in running for a board seat, and looking for more information, call Stillwater Area Public Schools at 651-351-8455.

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