A seasonal school district employee who discovered the position makes her ineligible to serve on the Kodiak Island Borough Board of Education is asking voters not to cast their ballots in her favor in the upcoming election.
Merissa Koller-Williams is the director of the Healthy Tomorrows community wellness program, and also serves as the Kodiak High School junior varsity volleyball coach.
She explains she did not realize she would have to resign from coaching in order to serve on the board due to the conflict of interest, and it’s now too late to withdraw as the ballots have already been printed. Koller-Williams says she’s more than just a coach to the students.
“I don’t have any kids of my own, so these are, they’re my kids. I make jokes about raising 34 kids every year, where I spend a lot of time with them, and I mentor them, and I’m accessible. I’m an accessible mentor, and I think resigning from that position takes away the exact reason that I would run for the school board.”
She says she has an ongoing responsibility to the program.
“Especially in a year where we’ve already lost one third of our coaching staff, we’re already low on personnel, and it’s important to me. I’ve spent the last five years with the volleyball program, I coach roughly 300 days a year and if I were a voter, I would not look favorably on a candidate who would be willing to let go of their commitment.”
In the case of being voted onto the board, Koller-Williams says she would either need to resign from coaching or immediately resign from the new position.
She says there are two other people currently running for the borough Board of Education who are willing and able to serve, and asks that community members vote for one of the other candidates in the upcoming October election.
Koller-Williams adds that she plans to participate in local politics at some point and is passionate about making an impact and improving her community.