BEND, OR -- The League of Women voters of Deschutes County will host a candidate forum on Monday, featuring those running for Bend-La Pine School Board on the May 21st ballot. Candidates will each give short speeches and take questions from the audience. The event starts at 5 p.m. at the Deschutes County Services Building (1300 NW Wall St., Bend), April 29. Click HERE for full details.
Vying for Zone One are speech and language therapist Caroline Skidmore, Chet Liew, with TDS Solutions, and owner of CMIT Solutions Mark Capell. Capell tells KBND News, "I think the biggest issue really is funding. And that's something we have to figure out because right now, there are too many students per teacher in each classroom." He says his depth of experience makes him the best choice, "I spent eight years on the [Bend] City Council working mostly on infrastructure and public safety; and the third thing the government is supposed to supply for all of us is education, and so I want to work on that. I want to see if I can help."
Zone Three incumbent and Thompson Pump and Irrigation owner Andy High is being challenged by Pastor for Justice and Mission Shimiko Montgomery.
Amy Tatom, a local family nurse practitioner, is running unopposed for Zone Five, and isn't scheduled to take part in Monday's forum.
Three candidates are running for Zone Six: Melissa Barnes Dholakia is the founder and Executive Director of MBD Partners, which supports charter schools; Richard Asadoorian is a former teacher, counselor, and principal; and Dr. Mike Way is a retired educator. Way says, "I taught for 33 years. I taught computer science, I ran the Computer science department at the college level. I think that I've got a pretty good feel for tech and how we need to start approaching it better." He would like to see robotics training expanded in schools, "Everybody should have a shot at that; and if everybody doesn't want to do it, we need to figure out why they don't want to, because that's the future."
KBND News requested interviews with each candidate, but did not receive responses from the others prior to deadline.