CHEERS - To an opportunity for public service. In May, candidates will run for election or re-election to several local boards of education. Yes, now is a challenging - some might say nerve-racking - time to run, but it's the time to give it serious consideration. There is a need to look closely at the type of candidates school boards need. The qualifications can be found on most school websites or the state Education Department site. One of the rules is that candidates cannot be employed by the board on which they serve or live in the same household with a family member who is a member of the same school board. Perhaps the restriction should go further. Family members of people working in a district should not run for school board in that district. A board member who has a relative working in the district may be more inclined to be sympathetic to staff members than to be objective, especially when it comes to budget matters, salaries and union negotiations. There is a potential for conflicts of interest that could affect board members' votes on vital issues. We need a good mix of school board candidates - parents, business people and those with a knowledge of the education field.