Aug 20, 2014 09:02 Running for office: Ascension Parish School Board Running for office: Ascension Parish School Board Advocate staff report Aug. 20, 2014 Comments Nat StephensNat Stephens, the chief of the Geismar Volunteer Fire Department, has announced his candidacy for Ascension Parish School Board, District 3. Stephens, 61, a Democrat, is a lifelong resident of Geismar. A process technician with Rubicon Chemical, Stephens holds a bachelor of arts degree in industrial arts education from Grambling State University. “As a firefighter, first responder, fire board commissioner and community activist, I gleaned an understanding of how local government works,” Stephens said in a statement. “I have people skills that can be used to bring people together toward common goals. These experiences will enable me to help the school system maintain its high level of excellence,” he said. Stephens said, if elected School Board member, he would be an advocate for the parents, children and residents of District 3, working at maintaining safe and secure schools and classrooms, equitable pay for employees, a “smart growth” approach to building new schools, cutting edge technology for students and teachers and increased involvement of parents and families. “Ascension Parish Schools is No. 3 in the state academically,” Stephens said. “Let’s not re-invent the wheel but maintain that level of excellence. I look forward to meeting the citizens of District 3 and tackling the challenges.” The School Board’s District 3 includes the parts of Gonzales, Darrow and Geismar areas. District 3 School Board member Richard Brown, who was elected to serve the two years remaining on Ed Price’s term when Price was elected to the Legislature, has said he will not run for re-election. Mark Peters also announced his candidacy for the seat. Qualifying is Aug. 20-Aug. 22.