Maricopa County deputy

Phoenix cop, a Pinkerton agent and a former Maricopa County deputy treasurer are among the candidates looking to fill an upcoming vacancy on the Gilbert Public Schools Governing Board.

So far, nine people have indicated an interest to replace Reed Carr when he resigns effective June 30, according to Maricopa County Superintendent Steve Watson’s office. 

The candidates were Amy Mills, Cathy Sue Brundage, Trina Jonas, Jennifer Miele, George Pizarro, Tim Taylor, Ron Bellus, Don Skousen and Kate Porter.

Spokesman Tim Sifert said there is no deadline for Watson to make the appointment.

GPS’ deadline for applications from candidates interested in the position was last Thursday, but a district spokeswoman said they were not available.

 A “district collaboration team” is expected to interview applicants June 14-23 and recommend three nominees for Watson to consider, though he can reject the recommendations.

“At the end of the day, he can select anyone he wants,” Superintendent Shane McCord told participants at a Gilbert Chamber of Commerce event last Thursday.

Sifert said he did not know which candidates who submitted their applications to Watson’s office also applied at GPS.

Whoever is appointed will serve until Dec. 31, 2022, and then the seat goes up for election in November 2022 to fill the remaining two years of the term.

The candidates so far are:

Kate Porter: A substitute teacher for GPS, Challenger Basic Elementary and American Leadership Academy. She also is a Realtor with three children and indicated she was looking for ways to serve the community.

Ron Bellus: A former news reporter, a former Arizona governor communications director, policy advisor to the state Speaker of the House and last served as Maricopa County’s deputy treasurer, 2017-21. He was a member of the Gilbert Anti-Gang/Anti-Drug Task Force, 1997-98 and vice chair of the Gilbert Human Relations Commission, 2001-04.

Tim Taylor:  A Pinkerton Enhanced agent and a U.S. Marine Corps Reserve section leader. His volunteer work includes Homes for the Homeless, Vets on Patrol Yuma Food Bank and Vincent DePaul’s.

George Pizarro: A Phoenix police officer since 2001 and U.S. Air Force veteran, he is currently a school resource officer.

Jennifer Miele: Senior admissions advisor for East Coast Polytechnic University (remote). Volunteer experience includes ballot counter for Arizona Audit and Operation Underground Railroad, which creates awareness about human trafficking in the community.  She said her primary issues include curriculum, parent involvement and preserving freedom of medical choice in the school system.

Trina Jonas: Owns a real estate business and is an independent contractor for nonprofit consulting and grant writing. Community service includes Junior League of Phoenix and a volunteer with her children’s public schools. She said she is passionate about public school and has worked hard to recruit many families out of charter schools and into GPS.

Cathy Sue Brundage: A mother and retired community college teacher with nine grandchildren attending GPS schools. She’s also been a volunteer for CASA and for Child Crisis Center.

Amy Mills: A Realtor whose son will be attending Greenfield Junior High, she said she is deeply passionate about providing children with a healthy environment to learn and excel.

Skousen did not submit any paperwork, but left a phone message, according to the county superintendent’s office.