Governor, attorney general, state legislature — voters will determine these high-profile state offices Tuesday.

But there's another, less visible list of candidates on the ballot who will play a major role in educating Utah's children, a fourth of the state's population.

In the past term, those elected OK'd rules for teaching the touchy topic of sex education. And they will oversee charter schools, which let parents have a say in what goes on.

They are running for the 15-member State Board of Education. This year, voters will decide who to keep, cast off or hire to represent eight districts. Candidates were screened by nominating committees, then selected by the governor.

This election, candidates have a few things in common: All are married with children, and most say funding is the top issue facing public schools.

District 2 (Summit, Wasatch, Morgan, Duchesne, Carbon, Uintah, Daggett, Grand and San Juan counties, plus Santaquin and Salem in Utah County). Board member Lynn Haslem is not seeking re-election.

Both candidates are former teachers and school board members from Morgan.

Richard Ted London, 57, is a computer program developer at Hill Field, former Air Force pilot and Vietnam veteran with a master's of business administration degree. "I'm just concerned about kids and I want to get involved."

A. Earl McCain, 63, has a doctorate in social studies education and is a recently retired

professor of teacher education at Weber State University. "I'm running because I have the time and because I can make a difference."

District 4 (Box Elder, Cache and Rich counties and Ogden Valley).

Cheryl C. Ferrin, 49, Eden, seeks a second term. She is a former P.E. and health teacher. "I want to continue with the process of developing policies that will guarantee a quality education for children today and future students."

Teresa L. Theurer, 44, Logan, is a stay-at-home mother and former nurse. "(My oldest children) received a great education here. I also have two younger children in school and they need to have a good education, too."

District 6 (northwest Davis communities, parts of south Ogden and southeastern Weber County communities).

Joyce W. Richards, 71, Ogden, is running unopposed for a second term. "The good results we have in the system today need to be built on to ensure a continued quality educational experience for all." Bruce G. Parry, Syracuse, was removed from the ballot after failing to file financial disclosure reports on time.

District 8 (most of Salt Lake City and Emigration and Parleys canyons).

Ralph D. Chipman, 50, is a CPA and business owner who has taught college classes. He wants to boost literacy in schools. "I received a quality education growing up and I want the Utah children to also receive a quality education."

Jill G. Kennedy, 59, is a Harvard graduate and college and scholarship coordinator at West High School. She seeks a second term. "I have a unique perspective because I'm working in a school and see issues from both sides."

District 11 (Draper, Granite, southeastern Salt Lake County, much of Sandy and parts of West Jordan). Both candidates live in Sandy.

Grant Hurst, 60, a banker, seeks a third full term. He praises school success on meager budgets and favors more school job-training offerings. "My experience lends itself to helping formulate the direction public education is going."

David L. Moss, 45, is a former teacher and Jordan Education Association president who has lobbied lawmakers for more school funds. "I felt (running for office) was the biggest way for me to make the biggest difference."

District 12 (southern Salt Lake City, South Salt Lake, northern Murray and Holladay, Mount Olympus and Granite Park). Boyd Jensen is not seeking re-election.

Laurel O. Brown, 48, Murray, is a speech pathologist who works in schools and private practice. She also has been involved in the PTA. Running for school board "is really an extension of work I've done professionally."

Robert L. Tempest, 40, Salt Lake, is a contractor with a master's of tourism and travel administration degree. He trumpets parent involvement. "I want to be involved in ensuring (children) get as good an education as possible."

District 14 (South Jordan, Riverton, Bluffdale and Herriman and areas north of Orem). Susan Henshaw is not seeking re-election. Both candidates trumpet accountability for everyone involved in education.

Mike Anderson, 51, Lindon, is a contractor, civil engineer, volunteer and leader in school fund-raising efforts. He seeks a back-to-basics curriculum. "I can make a difference."

Tim Eisenhart, 46, Lehi, has a master's degree in film/communication and is Special Olympics' development director. He seeks more parental involvement. "If you believe in something . . . you need to get out and put your hat in the ring."

District 15 (parts of Provo, Vineyard, and south and central Orem).

Linnea S. Barney, 64, Orem, is a former nurse seeking a third term. "I felt like the board was going to lose a lot of its experience with several others retiring and felt we needed that history to be available."

Nathan Rathbun, 28, Provo, is a campaign manager for U.S. Rep. Chris Cannon and is working on a degree in political science. "I think there needs to be more innovation and creativity in how we solve problems in education."


E-MAIL: jtcook@desnews.com