SRU alumnus Kevin Squires announced that he is running for a seat on the West Mifflin Area School’s Board of Directors.
There are nine seats on the board and elections are held every two years. Currently, five seats are open on the board for 2019.
A long-time resident of West Mifflin, Squires complete his primary and secondary education in the area.
Squires graduated in 2015 with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry. He is currently a laboratory specialist at the University of Pittsburgh studying infectious diseases.
Squires said the running process for the school board is like any election process. The primary election is in May and the general election is in November. The first official step in the process began on Feb. 19, which was the first day to circulate and file nomination petitions.
“It’s a long process when it comes to getting on the ballot and making sure people come out and vote,” Squires said. “You have to have a strong social media and online presence to get people to the polls.”
Squires has a professional Facebook page and website both at squiresforschoolboard.com along with personal Twitter and Instagram through which he promotes and advertises for his campaign.
Squires found his interest in the school board starting in high school when he created a high school student board representation position that allowed students questions and concerns to be heard.
“I’ve always been interested in politics and school board,” Squires said. “Going to Slippery Rock gave me a deeper appreciation of how your campus could be involved.”
The election process is closely monitored by the elections committee in Allegheny County. They monitor any amount of finances that are spent on campaigns. Squires has to document donations, collect all information that is needed to monitor what’s happening with campaign finance, and have all documents with signatures be notarized.
According to Squires, the most difficult part of the running process is ensuring voters understand what is going on and have strong show-up at the polls.
“With the school board there are two groups of people: those directly involved and those who are not,” Squires said. “It’s important to understand what both those groups and students need and want because they may not be able to vote but they are most directly impacted. Decisions that affect the school impact the community.”
In order to engage the community in his campaign, Squires plans to continue going to school board meetings and other events that are happening at the school to stay involved.
“At SRU when I started running The Rocket, one of the things that always crossed my mind was ‘Do I have a voice that people want to hear?’” Squires said. “I grew to realize that the things I have to say are important, and I have the opportunity to weigh in on important things that matter to the community.”