Two newcomers – one with ties to Lewes and the other to Milton – are vying for the at-large seat open on Cape Henlopen school board. Voters go to the polls Tuesday, May 13, to vote for the at-large seat and area C seat held by Andy Lewis.
Lewes resident Alison Myers, 36, and Juan Saez, 35, of Milton have filed for the 5-year seat held by Sara Wilkinson, who said she is not seeking re-election.
Myers and her husband, Rob, have lived in Lewes for almost three years with their four children ages 3 to 10. Currently a stay-at-home mom, Myers taught for nine years in the Lake Forest and Colonial school districts after earning a bachelor's degree in economics and a master's degree in education, both from the University of Delaware.
The Montgomery County, Md., native said she and her husband decided to move to Lewes because of the schools.
“For me, the draw of an excellent school district was a hands-down decision,” she said.
Her husband is employed as a cardiologist with Cardiology Consultants of Southern Delaware, which worked out perfectly, she said.
Myers is secretary for the Shields Elementary PTO and was a member of the facilities task force, which recommended improvements to the district's elementary schools. She also serves on the Citizen Oversight Budget Committee.
Myers said she figured she would run for school board some day, but she had expected her children to be older when she did.
“I thought this is an exciting time to get involved,” she said.
She said she supports building a new elementary school to reduce overcrowding at existing Cape elementaries, but improvements to existing elementary schools must be addressed. She said redistricting to create demographically balanced schools in Milton is also a priority whether or not the new school referendum passes.
If elected, Myers said, she would support district administrators as they implement new changes such as Common Core Standards and the Smarter Balanced test.
“The board should set expectations and allow administrators to work toward them,” she said.
Born and raised in Milton, Saez graduated from Cape Henlopen High School in 1996.
In 1999, he started a roofing and siding company, Saez and Sons LLC, with his father.
His wife, Christina, previously worked as a secretary at Milton Elementary and is now pursuing an nursing degree. They have six children ages 10 to 19, and they are helping raise a niece and two nephews whose parents died in a car crash near Milford.
Saez coached football for seven years at Mariner Middle School. He said he decided to run for school board to stay involved with the community.
“I've seen a lot with the schools,” he said. “Cape is going in a good direction, and I'd like to see that continue.”
Saez said he supports building a new elementary school because it would ease overcrowding. The plan would also add classroom space at Mariner and Beacon middle schools, which he said is needed.
He said he is in the process of speaking with administrators at every school building to get an idea of their wants and needs. He also wants to hear from community residents about issues they feel are important.
“I want to go to the school board with views from the community, not just my own,” he said.
Along that vein, Saez said he did not want to comment on the possible redistricting of Milton and H.O. Brittingham elementary schools until he has heard what residents want.
“I have an idea, but I want to hear from the community,” he said.
As of press time, Lewis was the only candidate to file for the area C seat. Candidates have until 4:30 p.m. Friday, March 7, to file for either seat.
Residents of the Cape Henlopen school district who are at least 18 years old are eligible to vote in the school board election.