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Six apply for single vacancy on the Medford School Board vacancy

Six people have applied to be appointed to replace Medford School Board Member Mike Moran, who recently announced he would resign after eight years of service.

Two retired teachers, a broker, a retired attorney, a computer technician and a computer company manager are among the candidates for the one-year position.

The appointee to Position 4 may run for re-election in May 2009 for another two-year term.

Board members plan to make their choice at the June 3 board meeting, with interviews set for 1 p.m. May 22 at the district central office, 500 Monroe St. The interviews are open to the public.

Retired teacher Paulette "Paulie" Brading has instructed students in elementary through high school and served in various administrative positions. Her first teaching position was at Howard Elementary in Medford, according to her application.

"I am interested in improving communication with the public at large regarding issues regarding possible school closures, building renovations, new school structures (and) emphasizing school and student achievement..." Brading wrote.

Retired Medford teacher Sally Killen, who religiously attends board meetings, is probably the best-known candidate of the six in the school district. She was part of a teachers' union bargaining team shortly before her retirement last year.

She was a teacher for 36 years, 20 of which were in Medford. Most recently she was an English teacher at Hedrick Middle School.

"I still want to contribute to the education system in a positive way to keep helping kids," Killen said.

Roger Lee McPherson, a senior computer technician, helped build the Community Business Education Center, which used to serve nine school districts and still operates in Medford.

"I have come to see the importance of the (school board's) job," McPherson wrote in his application. "I have put a lot of thought into how I can contribute to the district and the community it serves."

Jared Pulver, a real estate broker, attended schools in the Medford district.

"The ongoing health and prosperity of our school district is of great importance to me," Pulver wrote. "I think my passion, commitment and perspective will add value to the board."

Jeffrey Thomas, general manager of Connecting Point, has coached girls' teams at the Rogue Valley Soccer Club for more than seven years and is father to two students at Abraham Lincoln Elementary. He applied for appointment to a board vacancy in 2006, ultimately filled by Eric Dziura.

"The biggest issue facing the board is the bond," Thomas wrote, referring to the district's $189 million bond issue funding construction at 18 schools. "How the bond will be implemented and completed within budget will determine the future of education in the Medford School District for decades."

Homemaker Kimberly Wallan is a retired attorney with a child at South Medford High School. She has worked with the high school booster club and in the past, served on the district boundary committee. She cited improving graduation rates and district communication with the public as some of her interests.

The interest in the appointed position is significantly greater than school board elections last May when none of the candidates for four board positions were opposed. Only two of those candidates, Moran and Larry Nicholson, were incumbents.

"It's easier to come in front of the board than to plaster themselves around town" and do the legwork involved in a political campaign, said Board Member Tricia Prendergast.

Nicholson said some of the hot-button issues facing the district have probably also attracted more attention than during the May 2007 election. Among them were proposals to mothball Jackson and Roosevelt elementary schools and funding problems with the bond program.

Five years ago, when the district was about to make cuts in the elementary music program, "I came down here to talk to (former Superintendent) Steve Wisely, and before I knew it I was running for the school board," Nicholson said. "It's the issues that bring people out."

Some board members on Tuesday said they are looking for an appointee who works well with others and has some knowledge about how the school system works.

Board Member Tricia Prendergast said she hoped for someone who has "a good pulse on the community" and "put the greater good ahead of a personal agenda."

Reach reporter Paris Achen at 541-776-4459 or pachen@mailtribune.com.