School board bios
Jessica Vincent - School Board
Jessica Vincent, age 31, says she has lived in Valdez since 1987, moved away for college fall of 2000, returned in 2004. She is a stay-at-home-mom with three children under age 6. In 2011, she served on the board for the Valdez Coop Preschool.
When asked why she is running for the board of education and how she will make a difference Vincent wrote “I have been interested in the goings-on of our school system for a long time, and am particularly passionate about the importance of reaching out to kids in our community so they have the best possible chance at life once they graduate, and potentially leave Valdez. I have three children that will all soon be enrolled in Valdez City Schools, and am excited about the opportunities that are available to them as students. Our town has so much to offer, such great people, such tremendous spirit, and I want to help ensure we provide an amazing educational experience. “
Alan Sorum – School Board
Alan Sorum is 55 years old and has lived in Valdez since October of 1999. His occupation is Maritime Operations Project Manager. Previous governing experience includes: member of Alaska Boating Safety Advisory Council, Member Alaska Science and Engineering Fair Board, Member Alaska Clean Harbors Board, past City of Valdez Council Member and past President of Alaska Association of Harbormasters and Port Administrators.
When asked why he is running for the board of education and how he will make a difference Sorum wrote “Our Schools have seen reduced funding and declining enrollment. The Schools need full funding and to be good stewards of these resources. Valdez requires quality schools to attract families and businesses. Sorum has extensive experience with the budgetary process within Alaska and City. Alan has a Masters of Public Administration that required courses in financial management and budgetary processes. Public schools in Alaska are part of local government and Sorum has worked at every level of City government found in Alaska. Alan has worked as a city employee, assistant airport manager, port/harbor department head, city manager and city council member.”
Steven Brockman – School Board - Incumbent
Steve Brockman, age 53, is the current president of the board of education. He has lived in Valdez 19 years and is an IT Systems Manager.
When asked why he is running for the board of education and how he will make a difference Brockman wrote “These last three years have been a challenging, learning experience. This district has made an investment in me to be the best Board Member I can. I need to continue to pay them back. The role of the Board is not to fix but to set policy, set a budget and be public education Advocates. With the selection of an experienced Superintendent, we can attain great things for the Students and Staff of the District. There are exciting times ahead. I want to be a part of this, continuing to serve because I have more to give.”
Billy (BJ) Williams – School Board
BJ Williams is 32 years old. He says he moved to Valdez December, 2010. He says he is currently not serving on any boards, but served on youth basketball and baseball boards in northern Wisconsin.
When asked why he is running for the board of education and how he will make a difference Williams wrote
“I am running for School Board because I feel it is time for change. It is a very exciting time for Valdez City Schools as we are building a new Middle School, football field and track, and now have a new school Superintendent on board. I believe it is time for some new ideas to help lead VCS through the next phase. This would be a new and exciting challenge that I look forward to, should I be elected to the School Board. My hope is to bring a new perspective to the Board, one that will help each and every student reach their potential. I intend to make a difference through making informed decisions that will benefit all students at VCS in a positive manner.”
Joe Prax – School Board
Joe Prax, age 46, has lived in Valdez for20 years. He is the owner, Prospector Outfitters. He served on the Valdez City Council for six years, from 2006 to 2012.
When asked why he is running for the board of education and how he will make a difference Prax wrote “The Schools are facing difficult budget decisions, we are at the revenue cap and expenses keep increasing. There are still plenty of resources to have the best education system in the state if the students’ needs are the priority. The new superintendant has the ability to make these changes but she will need support from the board. Currently the board micromanages too much and it becomes impossible to move forward. My experience on council will help in understanding budgets and I don’t hesitate to stand up for what I believe in. Our students deserve no less.”