WINCHESTER — June 9 is the deadline for people to file their paperwork to run for Winchester School Board in the Nov. 3 election. Four seats are up for grabs.
As of Wednesday, one person has filed to run, according to Winchester Director of Elections and Voter Registrar Liz Martin. Incumbent Mike Birchenough is seeking to keep his First Ward seat. Birchenough was appointed to the School Board in 2019 by City Council.
Since then, city voters approved a referendum to switch from an appointed board to an elected board. The Nov. 3 election will mark the first time city voters cast ballots for School Board members.
In addition to the First Ward seat, also up for election in November are the vacant Second Ward seat, the Third Ward seat currently held by Elyus Wallace and the at-large seat currently held by board Vice Chairwoman Marie Imoh.
Wallace, who was appointed to the School Board in 2019, told The Star on Wednesday that he is in the process of collecting the needed signatures to run to retain his seat.
Imoh, who was appointed to the board in 2015, said she also plans to run and is collecting signatures.
In order to run, candidates need at least 125 approved signatures from city residents. However, Martin suggests potential candidates collect at least 150 signatures, in case some signatures are not valid.
Despite the coronavirus pandemic, the state has not changed the number of required signatures, Martin noted.
The School Board will decrease its size from nine to seven members starting July 1. That means three board seats will be up for grabs in the November 2022 election: the Fourth Ward seat held by Bryan Pearce-Gonzales, who was appointed to the board in 2017; the at-large seat held by Karen Anderson Holman, who was appointed in 2014; and the at-large seat held by Erica Truban, who was appointed in 2012.