Eleven people have applied to the Prince William County School Board to serve in the Coles District seat vacated by John David Allen Sr., who resigned in November because of illness.
The School Board will pick one of them to serve the remainder of Allen's term, which expires at year's end. Residents can speak on behalf of a candidate at the School Board meeting Wednesday. The board will pick a candidate Jan. 15 in closed session.
Here are the applicants:
Stanley Bender, 73, a consultant to the Naval Surface Warfare Center, is retired from the Department of Defense as a program analyst in the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization.
Marilyn Walker Blakely, 48, is president of Blakely and Associates, a training consultant company. She is director of the Prince William County Industrial Development Authority Board. She is also a member of the national board of directors of the National Congress of Black Women, chairman of its county chapter and local coordinator of its College for Kids enrichment program.
Traci DeGroat, 42, is owner of KTDiD Marketing and Advertising and executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Prince William County. She has one child who graduated from Stonewall Jackson High School and two children attending Coles Elementary School. She is a past president of the Prince William County-Greater Manassas Chamber of Commerce and a member of the board of the Prince William County Public Schools Education Foundation.
Ernie Gonzales, 44, is a graduate of Woodbridge Senior High School and has two children each at Benton Middle and Marshall Elementary schools. He is director of civil military youth programs and innovative readiness training, working out of the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Reserve Affairs. Gonzales is also vice president of the Lake Ridge-Occoquan Civic Association and has served on the board of the Prince William County Park Authority and the Superintendent's Advisory Committee on Revenue and Building Needs.
Jeffrey Guide, 50, is chief of office systems services for the Library of Congress. His two children attend Pace East and McAuliffe Elementary schools. Guide has served as a member of the McAuliffe Elementary advisory council, the Coles District Parent Advisory Council, the Vocational Education Committee and the Prince William Soil and Water Conservation Board.
William Hundley, 62, was the Coles District representative on the School Board from 1988 to 1995, serving as chairman from 1992 to 1994. He retired in 1999 as senior program manager in the Office of Civil Rights for the U.S. Department of Commerce. His three children are graduates of Gar-Field Senior High School, and his wife is a former business education teacher there.
Lawrence R. Keller, 54, is an auditor in Prince William County's Office of Executive Management. His children are graduates of Hylton and Osbourn Park high schools. Keller has taught computer classes to adults in night and summer school and volunteers as an auxiliary police officer for the county. He is also a member of the Superintendent's Advisory Council on Instruction.
Ellenor A. Kirkconnell, 51, was a high school English teacher in Fairfax County for 17 years. She has two children at Hylton, where she volunteers. Kirkconnell works as assistant director of the Alliance of Nonprofit Mailers. She has been a member of the Superintendent's Advisory Council and the middle school boundary committee.
Michael I. Otaigbe, 48, is a dean at the Woodbridge campus of Strayer University. He has a daughter who is a sophomore at Hylton and another who graduated from there. Otaigbe, who immigrated to the United States in 1977, has spent more than 27 years in education. He has served on the Prince William County Education Strategic Goal Task Force and has been a mentor at Minnieville Elementary School.
Diane Tramel, 51, has served on advisory councils at McAuliffe Elementary and Hylton High and was a PTO volunteer at Vaughan Elementary and Saunders Middle schools. Her four children are graduates of Hylton. A licensed practical nurse, Tramel was trained in the school division's School of Practical Nursing. She has served as a reading tutor and volunteers with Holy Family Parish Nurses.
Michael E. Wooten is a major in the Marines and a doctoral student in education at George Washington University. Wooten has served as instructor for the Presidential Classroom, a program that offers instruction to outstanding high school students from across the country. He is active with the Cub Scout pack based at Westridge Elementary School and the NPS Taekwondo Association, which provides free or low-cost martial arts instruction. He was unavailable to give his age.