FARMINGTON — The Central Consolidated School District Board of Education could see some big changes depending on who runs for both the District 1 and District 4 seats during next year's school board election.
Declarations of candidacy must be filed between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. Dec. 18 with the San Juan County Clerk.
The clerk's office is located at 100 S. Oliver Drive, Suite 200, in Aztec. The election is scheduled for Feb. 5.
Other seats will be open in later elections. Elections are held every two years, with each elected official receiving a four-year term.
Currently, the positions are filled by Randy Manning of District 1 and Christina Aspaas of District 4.
Neither was available for comment Friday.
Manning, a barber from Kirtland, has served on the board since 1993.
He has not revealed whether he will run again, though it is likely since he was elected the New Mexico School Boards Association Secretary and Treasurer by school board members statewide on Friday, said CCSD Board President Matthew Tso said.
"I think, based on today, he likely will run for reelection," Tso said.
Aspaas, who was appointed to the board in October by a board vote, also has not said whether she will run again.
Aspaas, an electrician from Ojo Amarillo, took over the position after former board member Dr. Chad Wood left the board to pursue work in Utah. Wood held the position for a year.
He took the place of board member Bernice Benally, who passed away after a battle
"That was very unusual. It was heartbreaking," said James Preminger, spokesman for the district.
District boundaries changed last month in both districts.
"District 4 changed radically," Preminger said.
Kirtland's growth by about 1,000 since the 2000 Census has led to growth in both districts. The population boom is attributed to the movement of people off of the Navajo reservation and into more urban areas.
Though the demographics remain about the same, District 4 lost much of its land area to District 5 because it had grown in population.
District 1 lost a bit of its land area as well, but lost more in population because of the greater population density.
With the new map, each district will have about 6,600 people.
The U.S. Census Bureau requires redistricting every 10 years for all school districts nationwide in order to make sure populations in each are more or less equal.
Kirtland still is split between Navajo and white residents, who often are members of the Church of the Latter Day Saints, or Mormons.
Earlier this year, racial and religious overtones took over many of the discussions between community members. The divide became so great that a large portion of the community wanted to secede the Kirtland section of the district from CCSD.
"Since it's in the past, I think we've been able to move forward and work together better as a board," Tso said.
Whomever is elected to the board will need to work closely with the community to mend the chasm between residents.
Because candidates are not able to file until Dec. 18, the San Juan County Clerks Office does not yet know who will be running, though former District 4 seat candidate Randy Jensen said he will run for election.
"That's my goal is to get the district back where it was," Jensen said. "There's so much room for improvement, it's unreal."