More than three dozen people have thrown their names in the hat for a chance to serve on Tucson-area school boards.

Those elected to governing boards have huge influence over the educational experience of children across the city. School board members have the final say on decisions that include what curriculum children are taught, how much money is spent in the classroom and student discipline policies.

“They make some of the most important decisions about the day-to-day functions of every one of our school districts,” said Ricky Hernandez, who oversees elections for the Pima County School Superintendent’s Office.

“It’s vitally important that voters — be they parents or be they community members — pay attention to these elections and try to do some research about these people so they can make decisions that best fit their interests.”

Voters will have the opportunity to make their picks at the polls in November, though early ballots go out in October.

The following 37 candidates are competing for 28 open seats in Tucson’s nine major school districts (incumbents are indicated with an asterisk):

Amphitheater (3 seats)
  • Deanna Day*
  • Julie Cozad*
  • Scott Baker
  • Mick Stewart
  • Vicki Cox Golder
Catalina Foothills
(3 seats)
  • Carole Siegler*
  • Eileen Jackson*
  • Robert Douglas Hadley
Flowing Wells
(3 seats)
  • Thomas S. Jacobs*
  • James A. Love*
  • Wendy Effing
Marana (3 seats)
  • Suzanne Hopkins*
  • Maribel Lopez*
  • Daniel Post*
Sahuarita (3 seats)
  • J. Elaine Hall*
  • Kris Ham*
  • Dalia Zimmerman
  • Shari S. Lowell
Sunnyside (3 seats)
  • Buck Crouch*
  • Becky Quintero*
  • Roberto Jaramillo
Tanque Verde (4 seats)
  • Jeffrey M. Neff*
  • Carlos Ruiz*
  • Susan E. Fry*
  • Jeremy Schalk
  • Vieri M. Tenuta
TUSD (3 seats)
  • Kristel Foster*
  • Cam Juarez*
  • Mark Stegeman*
  • Lori Riegel
  • Betts Putnam-Hidalgo
  • Rachael Sedgwick
  • Brett Rustand
Vail (3 seats)
  • Allison Pratt*
  • Anthony Sizer
  • Callie Tippett
  • Mark Tate

There is also an opportunity for write-in candidates to file by Aug. 24.

In the Catalina Foothills, Flowing Wells, Marana and Sunnyside districts, each has three candidates and three seats. If no write-in candidates come forward and if the nomionating signatures check out, the Pima County Board of Supervisors could appoint those candidates, eliminating the need for and cost of an election.

Contact reporter Alexis Huicochea at ahuicochea@tucson.com or 573-4175. On Twitter: @AlexisHuicochea

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