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Moore versus Cantwell for Position 2

Longtime school board member Bret Moore will face off against newcomer Melissa Cantwell for Position 2 on the Central Point School Board.

Moore, a third-generation builder who developed the Twin Creeks transit-oriented community, said he wanted to use his eight years of experience on the board and his business background to help ensure solid leadership for an already well run district.

Cantwell, a primary care innovation specialist for CareOregon, said her perspective as a Latina mother of three, and her training in trauma-informed care, would represent the needs of a diverse community and help close the achievement gap between students of varying backgrounds.

"One of the things we continue to see is that we have a high transfer rate, so people are obviously impressed with the variety of great programs we have, which is something that draws people in and is worth spending time and money on developing," said Cantwell, 35.

"In terms of changes, there are some things that I would like to see more broadly implemented across the district in terms of trauma-informed care. We've learned that certain experiences, from poverty to breaking up a family to abuse, can all impact the ability to grow and learn. To be trauma-informed as a district would be a systems-level change and has to become a cultural change in our district. That's a big focus for me."

In addition, Cantwell said intervention programs to reduce Latina pregnancy should be explored.

"Overall, even though there's always room for improvement on anything, I'm really happy with the district. My wanting to be a part of the school board is coming from a place that I feel called to action, and in thinking about where I could be involved, the school board made a lot of sense because I have one (student) in elementary, one in middle and one in high school."

Moore said he wanted to retain his seat on the school board because he enjoys the progress made over his eight years in service and wanted to help guide the district's future. Moore has two older children attending district schools and, more recently, a number of foster children.

"I enjoy working with our dedicated administrators and teachers and all of the other people it takes to educate the children in our communities that we serve. I'm excited about all the innovative programs we have, such as our magnet schools, our language immersion program ... and we've increased our graduation rate. Of course, we have a lot more to do there," Moore said.

"I think bringing my private sector business experience to the board is beneficial to the district. I have lived in the district most of my life and I want to see our communities excel. I think the best way for that to happen is through the education of our children."

— Buffy Pollock is a freelance writer living in Medford. Email her at buffyp76@yahoo.com.

Melissa Cantwell, left, Bret Moore