SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska

Ketchikan Borough Election
OCTOBER 03, 2017

Diane Gubatayao

Candidate for the Ketchikan School Board
3 Year Term - 2 Seats Open


Filed for Office: August 03, 2017
Statement Received September 16, 2017
Published September 17, 2017

Candidate Statement for Diane Gubatayao

jpg Diane Gubatayao

First of all, thank you to Mary and Sitnews for this public service announcement opportunity. I know it requires a lot of effort to maintain this website.

BACKGROUND: I have lived on and off in Ketchikan for nearly 30 years. I essentially raised my children here. Three of my children graduated from Kayhi and currently two of my grandchildren attend school here. I have worked in a variety of positions in Ketchikan including Parks and Recreation Programmer, PATCHWorks Director, and more recently WISH and Community Connections. Nowadays I volunteer for many non-profits including Ketchikan Wellness Coalition, refereeing soccer and KYSL Board, Ketchikan Running Club and others.

I am finishing my year as an appointee on the Board of Education, and I previously served a full term on the Board. I worked two years as a Physical Therapy paraprofessional in the District serving preschool to high school students. As such I learned a lot being in every school in the District and meeting many staff and students. More recently, I was a community representative on the Academic Policy Committee of the Tongass School of Arts and Sciences, so I learned governance at a school level as we on the APC were responsible for budgeting, staffing, curriculum and policy. Finally, I have a lifetime K-9 teaching credential from the State of California.


  1. Budget and funding. Clearly, these are tough financial times for Alaska and Alaskans. Our State leaders have yet to resolve the revenue issue, so educational funding is at high risk for cuts. I believe our local government and District administration have done a great job of preparing for such potential cuts, and our Superintendent provides valuable information and data for the Board to manage the budget. This past year was flat funding from the State, but we still need long term strategies. Also, Congress has yet to approve Secure Rural Schools funding which helps support local education. Bottom line: we need to be proactive and prepared, and cooperation between the Borough and the District is more important than ever.
  2. Career exploration and vocational education. I believe our District recognizes the importance of expanding career exploration and vocational education opportunities. I am excited for the potential to create more business partnerships such as the one with VIGOR, and also to collaborate more with UAS to offer courses available to Kayhi students that are mutually beneficial. I am a big supporter of giving students different paths to graduation and “hands on” learning is one of them. I was particularly excited with Superintendent Boyle’s creative use of the JACK COTANT as a great learning asset. As I have stated before, my basic philosophy is empowering students to be the best they can be, and providing the best education possible.
  3. Wellness. There is a direct correlation between health and academic performance. Whether it is better nutrition or physical activity, these are important to supporting students in the classroom. Also, I believe in supporting both staff and students’ mental well-being. I advocate for and support efforts for Positive Behavioral Intervention and Supports (PBIS). This is a school level strength-based program that recognizes students often act out for many reasons and that such behavior interferes with their education. Schools can provide a safe, supportive environment where students can learn to deal with personal issues and find stability. It is not “touchy feely” but research based. I am proud of this District for promoting such positive programs, including the Response to Intervention (RTI) for academic performance. Together these programs offer students a better path to success.
  4. Parental Involvement I am a big believer in the power of parental involvement in student success. I was involved with PTA for many years as my children progressed through school. That is one avenue for involvement, but it is more than that. It is communicating with the teachers, providing support at home with a good routine of homework help, regular mealtime and adequate rest. I am well aware that parents face challenges of their own, so anything we can do to support them as well will have many benefits. Education is a family endeavor. We should do everything we can to encourage parental involvement at many levels, and I am aware that many of our schools work diligently to do so.

Finally, I care a lot about our students and our Ketchikan community, so I would appreciate your vote on October 3rd. Thank you.




This is the 15th year, Sitnews has provided FREE web exposure to all local Ketchikan candidates to provide information for consideration by their constituents.

  1. Local candidates are invited by SitNews to provide for their constituents' consideration basic background information, experience and qualifications for the public office for which they seek.
  2. Candidates are invited to address for their constituents what they would like to accomplish if elected and issues of concern.
  3. Send Photographs & your may include your social media or web address for a link.
  4. Email to by September 26, 2017 (The sooner the better becauseabsentee voters may vote as early as 15 days prior to the Borough election: absentee in person, absentee by mail, or by electronic transmission.)


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