Incumbent Keith Massie and newcomer John Williams will run unopposed for two open Ashland School Board seats in the May 17 election. Both have children in the district and said they want to help Ashland schools weather the budget crisis.

Incumbent Keith Massie and newcomer John Williams will run unopposed for two open Ashland School Board seats in the May 17 election.

Both have children in the district and said they want to help Ashland schools weather the ongoing budget crisis.

"I think the school districts are going to face numerous challenges over the next few years, and I think there's going to be a lot of difficult decisions," Massie said Tuesday. "I want to make sure we're working collaboratively to make decisions that are in the best interest of students."

Massie, who holds Position 5 and whose son is a junior at Ashland High School, said he hopes to make technology use a priority in the district.

"Even when times are tight, people want to cut technology, but I think it's important to make targeted, specific investments," he said. "We have to make a long-term investment in students' education."

Massie works as the Geographic Information Systems manager for the city of Medford.

Williams filed for Position 2. Heidi Parker decided not to seek re-election after two terms.

Williams, who has two children at Helman Elementary School, said he wants to ensure that Ashland schools remain among the top in the state. "I just want to see Ashland's schools continue to excel, and I think I have a lot of experience that can help make that happen," he said.

For the past two years, Williams, a software developer, served as the Parent Teacher Association president at Helman.

Voters' pamphlets will be delivered to registered voters beginning April 18, and ballots will be mailed on April 29.

The new board members, who are elected to four-year terms, will take office June 1. The next board will be in charge of hiring a new superintendent during the 2012-13 academic year, when Superintendent Juli Di Chiro plans to retire.

Contact reporter Hannah Guzik at 541-708-1158 or hguzik@dailytidings.com.