Gaines sworn in to seat on CK school board

Mark Gaines, long-time Central Kitsap School District volunteer, is now the district’s newest school board member.

Mark Gaines, long-time Central Kitsap School District volunteer, is now the district’s newest school board member.

Gaines was sworn into office during the regular School Board meeting Nov. 24 following certification of the Nov. 3 election results.

“I’d like to thank everyone that supported me during my campaign,” Gaines said. “I am excited about the opportunity to serve the community on the school board.”

Gaines will fill the Director Area 2 position vacated by 14-year member, Carl Johnson.

Gaines, a University of Washington graduate, received a bachelor’s degree and master’s of science degree in civil engineering. He is licensed as a professional engineer in the state of Washington and currently works as a construction engineer.

No stranger to the education world, Gaines took an opportunity to educate himself on his new position.

“Prior to taking the oath of office on Nov. 24, I had the opportunity to attend the Washington State School Directors’ Association annual conference in Seattle,” Gaines said. “I attended a number of sessions during the conference that were specifically tailored to people who are serving on a school board for the first time. The conference provided a wealth of valuable information that will be helpful as I begin this new adventure.”

Gaines was born and raised in Washington state, has lived in Kitsap County since 1991 and is married with two children, both of whom attend Central Kitsap schools.

Gaines has assisted in the classroom, helped with Parent-Teacher Association events and worked with an after-school mentoring program. He also serves on the Olympic College Engineering Advisory Committee and coaches youth soccer and basketball.

Gaines has followed the district’s budget woes during this period of turmoil and is now becoming more educated on the financial issues facing the district.

“I have also been spending time learning more about the financial challenges ahead for the CKSD,” he said. “A declining enrollment combined with the potential for additional cuts in funding will require creativity to produce a balanced, education-focused budget.”

While the battle against budget deficits will be an uphill one for Gaines, he said he is ready and willing to start.

“With the support of the community, I’m confident these challenges can be overcome,” he said.