Q.C. district chooses board nominees - East Valley Tribune: East Valley Local News

Q.C. district chooses board nominees

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Posted: Friday, November 6, 2009 7:38 pm | Updated: 12:38 am, Sat Oct 8, 2011.

Ken Brague, a medical salesman with five children in the district, was chosen Friday as the Queen Creek Unified School District nominee for the governing board vacancy.

Five people applied for the open position vacated by Natalie Lamb in August.

Brague said he wants to be on the school board because he has five kids who go to four different Queen Creek district schools.

"I feel vested and want to be a part of the process," he said. "I want to help to continue Queen Creek's excellence and want to make sure it stays that way. There is room for improvement, and I want to help with that."

The district also chose alternates Brett Sterkel and Joel Benavides.

A team consisting of board president Jeff Black, Superintendent James Murlless and Tara Bernier, a fourth-grade teacher at Queen Creek Elementary School, interviewed the candidates.

"We had five excellent choices," Black said. "It was really unbelievable. I would have served with any of the five (applicants)."

The team needed to submit their nominee, along with two alternate nominees, to Maricopa County Superintendent of Schools Donald Covey by Friday.

The three nominees will attend a nominee seminar Nov. 14. Covey is expected to appoint a board member by Nov. 20.

Brague, 41, is a volunteer with Helping Hands who is helping to build a home in Queen Creek.

He has been married for 17 years to Allison, a stay-at-home mom.

The Brague family includes: Joelle, a sophomore at Queen Creek High School; Kyle, an eighth-grader at Newell Barney Junior High School; Jocelyn, a sixth-grader at Queen Creek Middle School; Connor, a third-grader at Desert Mountain Elementary School; and Bridgette, a first-grader at Desert Mountain.

Brague has a psychology degree from Brigham Young University.

The alternate nominees include Benavides, 45, a warehouse manager for Southern Wine and Spirits in Phoenix.

He has five children in the district, and two older kids who graduated from Queen Creek High.

Benavides is a volunteer and former scout leader with the Boy Scouts, a church leader with the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and an assistant coach for his son's flag football team.

He has a public relations degree with a business minor from ASU.

Benavides has been married for 12 years to Cassandra, a licensed massage therapist.

Also chosen as an alternate was Sterkel, 41, a project manager for Bank of America's ATM fraud claims department. He has two children in the district and a 2-year-old.

He is a volunteer with United Way, the Cub Scouts and at Desert Mountain Elementary School, where his kids go to school.

Sterkel has been married for 18 years to Debbie, an assistant manager at a home store.

He has a business management degree from the University of Phoenix.

The other two who applied for the position were: Nancy Diab, 33, an assistant principal at Cortina Elementary School; and Shimara Mizell, 29, a human resource specialist with Arizona State University.

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