Eight vie for four school board seats
the time the filing deadline rolled around Thursday, eight candidates had joined the race for the Medford School Board.
With four open positions, the race will be one of the most contested on the May 20 ballot.
Medford School Watch Chairwoman Loretta Francis announced on Wednesday that she would file to unseat board chairman Mike Moran.
But on Thursday, Francis pulled out of the race during a rally in front of the county elections department.
I've been threatened and I feel very much afraid and it's over, said Francis, who would not elaborate.
Francis ' a vocal critic of the district ' has said in the past that she has felt threatened by the board members and administrators.
Board members, however, have maintained that Francis' claims are absurd.
Position No. 4
Moran, 48, has served on the school board for three years. The Medford police lieutenant, who has two children in the district, is running unopposed.
Position No. 5
Minuteman Press employee Peggy Penland, who has one child in the district, currently holds position No. 5 and will fight to keep her seat. The Medford resident holds positions on the Oregon School Board Association and Quality Education Commission.
John Glaser, a sales manager with KMVU-TV with one child in the district, will run against Penland.
The Jacksonville man is a member of the Medford School Watch with no prior government experience.
I think it's time for some new ideas, said Glaser, 42, who moved to the Rogue Valley from Indiana two years ago.
Position No. 6
Lois Thorson, who currently holds position No. 6, will not seek re-election.
Her seat is being sought by pharmaceutical salesman Joel Marks, 53, of Medford. Marks is a former school teacher with previous school board experience in another state. The Medford resident has no children in the district.
Also running for position No. 6 is Medford resident Larry Nicholson, 48, who has two children in the district.
Nicholson is an agency field consultant for State Farm Insurance and is co-chairman of Citizens for 549C, an organization dedicated to passing a bond measure for school improvements. Nicholson has no previous government experience.
We have a new opportunity that's created by the departure of Steve Wisely and an incoming superintendent, he said of why he filed for candidacy.
Position No. 7
Four residents will vie for No. 7, a seat currently held by board member Jack Day, who isn't seeking re-election.
Medford police Sgt. Bob Sergi, 46, is a Southern California native who moved to the Rogue Valley in 1989. He has two children in the district.
I think the board and the school district need a supporter, not someone who's going to fight against them, said Sergi, who has no previous government experience.
A desire to help prompted Medford resident Robin Stroh, 48, to run for the same position. Although she has no government experience, Stroh said she is a member of the League of Women Voters of the Rogue Valley and her twin sons attend North Medford High School. She is the personnel director at JCPenney.
I feel my experience with business, as a parent and as a school volunteer makes me a good candidate, she said.
Also running for the position is Cynthia Wright, a Central Point homemaker. Attempts to contact Wright on Thursday were unsuccessful.
Mark Williamson, 45, of Medford is a claims adjuster for Farmer's Insurance. Williamson has three children in the district and volunteers with classroom and sports activities. Williamson lived in Coos Bay before moving to the Rogue Valley 11 years ago.
I'm still of the option that there is enough money to go to the school to keep days from being cut, said Williamson, who has no prior government experience.
Reach reporter Jill Briskey at 776-4485, or e-mail Elsewhere in Jackson County
No. 2: Howard W. Braham, Jason Houk, Sheryl Lipski and Heidi Parker
No. 5: Bob Kuenzel and Ellen M. Thivierge
No. 3: Dennis Burg
No. 4: Bud Liberator
No. 5 Sue Macy
No. 3: Cindy Tilley-Faubion
No. 5: Kerry Bradshaw.
No. 1: John Blanchard (incumbent), Teresa A. Hulla and Rhonda Graham
No. 4: Douglas McKinley (incumbent), Teresa Vonn and David K. Wilson
No. 2: Nate Shinn (incumbent) and Harry E. Page
No. 4: Richard Nagel
No. 5. Loretta Nordquist
No. 2: Richard Holbo
No. 3: Michael S. McLaughlin
No. 5 Audrey Impara
No. 1: Walter S. Mahoney
No. 2: Wayne L. Gallagher
No. 4: Ronald Scriven
No. 1: Edward J. Angeletti and David Artoff
No. 3: Trayce Geddes
Rogue Community College
Zone 4 (northeast Jackson County): Incumbent Lois Hawley Wilson and Charles A. Warren
Zone 5: Farrest Loper and Kevin Talbert
Southern Oregon ESD
Zone 9: No one filed. The seat is currently held by Ed Kupillas.