O’Brien to run write-in campaign for Juneau School Board

Sean O’Brien will run for Juneau School Board as a write-in.

O’Brien filed a letter of intent with the city clerk’s office Thursday afternoon, making his candidacy official.

He previously served one term on the board from 2005 to 2008, but didn’t seek a second for personal and family reasons. He’d planned on running in 2012, but decided to move it up a year when only one candidate – School Board President Sally Saddler – filed to run for two open seats during the just concluded filing period.

“I’m kind of rejuvenated and ready to go, and my kids are a little bit older. So, I’m in a better position to volunteer and serve the community,” he says.

O’Brien grew up in Juneau and now works at the state Labor Department. He and wife Sue have three kids, including two boys still in the school system. One attends Thunder Mountain High School and the other goes to Floyd Dryden Middle School. O’Brien believes the biggest issues facing the Juneau School District right now are the budget and graduation rate.

“Prioritizing and operating as smartly as efficiently as you can and as effectively as you can obviously are critical,” he says. “I guess the other things I would say is the dropout continues to be a challenge and school performance and school engagement for our kids, they’re all kind of interrelated. I think they’re all critical.”

City Clerk Laurie Sica says O’Brien was the only write-in candidate to file a letter of intent as of Thursday afternoon. No one else has indicated a possible run. The deadline to file as a write-in is 4:30 p.m. on September 29th.

The city election is October 4th.