Seaside, Gearhart and Cannon Beach residents will get a chance to hear what this year’s school board candidates have to say about the Seaside School District’s key issues. They’ll be attending a forum on Tuesday, April 30, at the Broadway Middle School Library.

District Superintendent Sheila Roley shared the importance of the role school board members serve. “We would really like our great community to have the opportunity to see the candidates and hear from them, their perspectives on how to lead our schools.”

The American Association of University Women has always been involved with education, Seaside president Cindy Gould said. “If we have a strong education system, then we have a strong community,” Gould said.

Board members make the community even stronger, she said.

“Part of our mission is women and girls, but education is our biggest thrust,” the association’s Karen Beck added. “It’s part of our mission statement.”

The event is organized by the Seaside Signal and the Seaside American Association of University Women, and will be introduced by Cindy Gould. Roley will offer remarks, along with members of the high school’s Associated Student Body.

Signal editor R.J. Marx will moderate.

Two of three open seats will see competitive races in the May 21 election.

Three candidates — John Dunzer, Sondra Gomez and Jeremy Mills — have filed for the Zone 5, Position 1 seat.

Seaside’s John Dunzer, a retired corporate executive, is now employed as a greeter at Walmart.

Jeremy Mills, a Seaside resident, has 11 years as an agent with State Farm Insurance. He is currently a member of the board of directors of the Sunset Empire Park and Recreation District.

Sondra Gomez is a local operations manager at Vacasa and served in the consulting office at the Seaside School District from 2016-18.

Shannon Swedenborg is the sole candidate in Cannon Beach’s Zone 1, Position 1. Swedenborg filled the board seat after Patrick Nofield stepped down in Cannon Beach. Over the past two years she has been a substitute teacher at the Heights Elementary School and Broadway Middle School. She taught high school biology in the Renton, Washington, School District for 10 years.

Also in an uncontested race, Mark Truax, president of the board and holding 20 years experience with the school district, is running for Zone 4, Position 2, based in Seaside. He is a Seaside High School graduate and Astoria firefighter.

Gould said she hoped to hear ways in which board members could help meet the needs of underfunded schools and to value education locally.

“What I’m hoping for are candidates and board members, as we’ve always been fortunate to have, who are very focused on the best interests of all of our kids,” Roley added.

The election takes place May 21.

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