PROSPECT — Two positions are contested in the Prospect School Board election, and because all four candidates have children attending Prospect schools, each sees the community's students as their primary motivation for running.
Dale Bliss, a seven-year member of the board and its chairman, is running for Position 3 against challenger Lea Reynolds.
"I can think back to when I was in high school," Bliss said, "there were people, we called them the pillars of the community, they were always there and even though they were behind the scenes, they did a lot and always supported the kids and the school and now it's my responsibility to do that."
He said his goal is to bring the community and the school closer together.
"We have a lot of people who just don't know or are retired without children and don't have that vested interest," he said. "It would be nice to bring those people on board."
Lea Reynolds said she believes the School Board has not been holding the administration responsible for the welfare of the school and the kids.
"All my decisions, if elected to the board, will be based on what's good for the school and the good of the children," Reynolds said, "and the good of the children before anything else.
"I want to see more consistency in the way things happen, what's good for one should be good for all. "… And that's not happening. It hasn't been happening for a long time."
Bruce Baker, who has been on the board just over two years and is vice chairman, is facing Rocky VanWormer for the Position 4 slot.
"I want to see us have a school that has the ability to help each student reach their personal best," Baker said. "That they can learn whatever they want to learn up to whatever they have the ability to learn."
He said he sees serving on the board as a team effort.
"It's not what I want to do personally; it's what the board wants to do."
VanWormer said he feels the community is concerned about leadership of the schools, including the School Board.
"The decisions that are being made are not based on what's good for kids," VanWormer said. "I'd like to get the board back into a kids-first mentality. It seems like the priorities have changed. We're not thinking kids first. In my opinion it's gone downhill and it's a shame."
Ballots have been mailed to registered voters and must be returned by May 21.
Writer Bill Miller lives in Shady Cove. Reach him at email@example.com.