If you're interested in serving on the board of trustees for the Missoula County Public Schools, it's time to file for office.

Five seats are open on the 11-member board, with elections coming up on May 4. But the filing deadline is March 25, a week from Thursday.

Four incumbents filed for their current seats on Monday. The incumbents are Toni Rehbein, who chairs the board, Joe Toth, Scott Bixler and Shelly Wills.

Rehbein, Toth and Bixler are running for three-year terms on seats that represent both the elementary and high-school districts.

Wills, who was appointed to the board in August to replace the resigning Kelley Hirning, is running for a one-year term. That seat normally has a three-year term, but the election schedule was thrown off by Hirning's resignation. The seat will be up for grabs again in May 2011.

The fifth board seat, currently held by Drake Lemm, represents only the high school district. To run for that seat, you must live in election district A, which includes the DeSmet, Lolo and Woodman elementary districts. Lemm is expected to re-file for his seat but hasn't done so yet.

So far, only one non-incumbent, Ethan Heverly, has filed for a seat on the board. Heverly filed for the one-year term involving Wills' current seat.

To register to run for a board seat, you need to pick up a petition and oath of candidacy forms at either the school district's business building at 915 South Ave. W. or at the Missoula County elections office.

The documents can also be found at the state Office of Public Instruction's Web site, www.opi.mt.gov.

The forms must be filed with the elections office by close of business on Thursday, March 25. Forms can be filed and returned to the district's business building, but must be there by 4 p.m. on the 25th.

Reporter Michael Moore can be reached at 523-5252 or at mmoore@missoulian.com.


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