CENTRAL POINT — Central Point voters will fill four school board seats in the May 21 election. Two incumbents are unopposed and two will face challengers.
In the race for Position 1, incumbent June Brock is challenged by newcomer Tracy Jackson.
Brock, owner of B&R Tax Service, has been on the board since in 2001. She decided to continue on the board, she said, after the recent retirement of Superintendent Randy Gravon.
"I kind of wanted to help get our new superintendent on solid ground and give her the benefit of the experience of my last few years," Brock said.
The district could increase its efforts to communicate with the public, Brock said, but she believes the district is being well run.
"I'm happy with the direction that we're going, but there are just little things that need revamping."
A trained teacher and a stay-at-home-mom, Jackson said she was asked to campaign by friends and neighbors because of concerns that the district is not receptive to citizen opinions.
Jackson voiced concerns about lack of communication with taxpayers and the perception that the current board is not open to public feedback.
"I'm running because ... I want to be involved in turning the flow of power back to where it's supposed to be," Jackson said. "The flow of power is supposed to go from the citizens to the representatives on the board to the district. Right now, it's a little backwards."
Jackson has concerns about Crater's small-schools design, and she said the district and high school are "administratively top-heavy."
"Most families in this economy are doing more work for less money," she said. "Crater High has three principals for fewer than 1,500 students, when there are bigger schools in this valley with only one principal. And a lot of families are still really unhappy with small schools."
In the race for Position 5, Ed Lindbloom, who was appointed last summer after the death of longtime board member Kerry Bradshaw, will face Catherine Salmon.
Lindbloom, a financial advisor and former head girls soccer coach at Crater High School, said he wants to help the district make sound financial choices in coming years as the economy recovers.
"The district has tougher financial decisions to make in the future than we've had to make in the past. There's the hope the economy will recover and we can add teachers and programs back in, but we need to decide the best way to do that," he said.
In addition, Lindbloom said, he would like to see the district come up with methods other than bond levies to fund improvements.
"We have the Crater Foundation that ensures every graduating senior from Crater gets a scholarship. I think we could ask the community for help with other things," he said.
Salmon, Lindbloom's opponent, is a recently retired school district employee who said she wanted to remain involved after 36 years in the district office.
"I attended (Central Point schools) from the first grade, and I just can't even imagine not being involved in some way with the district. Before Kerry passed away, I just couldn't imagine running against any of the incumbents," she said.
"I really think the district is already going in a great direction, and I just want to be involved," she said.
In the other two races, Bret Moore in Position 2 and Jolee Wallace in Position 4 are unopposed. Both were elected in 2009 to four-year terms.
Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org