Jim Hukari's first career goal was to become a government teacher. But God had a different plan, he said.
So he entered the seminary and became a pastor. Still, education remained a high priority.
He received a bachelor's degree in political science and a master's in theology and will become the newest member of the Carson City School Board on Jan. 1.
"I believe strongly in community involvement," he said. "I like education and I'm interested in it. I think this is a place I'll fit in."
Hukari, 44, brings a diverse background in education to the board.
He served in the Army in Germany from 1978 to 1985 where he met his wife of 21 years, Susi, who is German, but spoke fluent English.
They raised their two children Steve, 18, and Annalena, 17, to speak both languages. The children attended elementary school in Germany and were home-schooled in the United States for their secondary education.
Hukari taught for seven years at Rite of Passage, a disciplinary school. He and his wife also take in foster children and have a first-grader and kindergartner attending Bordewich-Bray Elementary School.
"I've seen a lot of different school venues," Hukari said. "Eventually, the current model of public schools will have to understand they don't have the monopoly on education.
"We should be exploring new options as we move into the next century."
One of those options, he said, is charter schools.
"They serve two purposes," he said. "They would alleviate overcrowding at the high school and would bring new jobs to Carson City."
He said he is pleased with the school board, district officials and teachers but would like to see some "fine tuning."
"We should work harder on casting a vision of leadership and less on buildings," he said. "We should spend less time talking about who can participate in graduation and more time on why kids aren't passing the proficiency exam."
However, he does support the $3.75 million bond issue to replace moldy modulars with a permanent addition to Bordewich-Bray Elementary School.
Hukari is running unopposed for the seat left vacant when Stacie Wilke retired to run for Assembly.
School board incumbents Sheila Ward and Bob Crowell are also running unopposed.
"On one hand it shows that the community is pleased with the job of the current school board," Hukari said. "On the other hand, it shows voter apathy. I think it's a pity more people aren't involved."
Hukari is a pastor in Carson City and director of the Western Nevada Center for Restorative Justice and Reconciliation.