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Two Candidates Skip Redmond School Board Forum

REDMOND, OR -- Four of the five seats on Redmond’s School Board are up for grabs in next week’s election. Candidates for Position Three, Four and Five were invited to take part in a recent forum hosted by the League of Women Voters and City Club of Central Oregon. But two declined.

Amanda Page is a Flight Paramedic running for Position Three. She said at the forum she wants to ensure "That all parents and teachers have the resources they need to be successful. That’s imperative. If teachers aren’t resourced well, then kids aren’t resourced well and no one is successful." Her opponent, Wendell Otto, did not attend.

Brad Porterfield is Director of the nonprofit Latino Community Association and is vying for Position Four. "I want to play a role in making sure our school board doesn’t get distracted by partisan politics, but rather stays focused on priority issues," He said at the forum. Position Four incumbent Keri Lopez did not participate in the virtual event. 

Liz Goodrich is the current Redmond School Board Vice Chair. "I’m proud of the accomplishments that the district has made during my first term. We successfully passed a bond in 2020, improving building safety, health and capacity. We had a successful superintendent search," she said at the forum, "We increased high school graduation rates."

Her Position Five challenger is science teacher John Campbell. "I am passionate about students getting an education. I want them to break those socio-economic barriers that they have experienced in their families because of maybe a lack of education that their parents got," he said.

Eric Lea is also running to remain in Position One, and faces no opposition.

The four candidates were asked about how the board should address behavioral disruptions in the classroom. Campbell said, "I think getting kids away from the screen - the computer screens, getting them to do hands-on learning to enjoy, they’re engaged." Goodrich touted the district’s new Bright Program she says is helping kids when they get disregulated, "A space for them to go get the service and the attention they need from an assistant or a behavioral specialist, that allows the learning in the classroom to continue without interruption." Page wants to use restorative justice, "It’s working with those students to collaborate with their community of other students, to understand the effect that their actions had on the classroom." And Porterfield said schools need to offer space and time for students to be heard, "Because, until they feel that the people in the school care about them, care about their lives, care about their families, they’re not going to care about learning."

On curriculum oversight, all acknowledged the School Board gets final approval. But Goodrick says she also believes in acadmeic freedom and teachers should be allowed to choose what they think is best suited for their class, "They’re afraid of being judged and their professional training being called into question. These people are highly trained, and they’re hired to do a very specific job and we should empower them to do so."

Campbell wants the board to have more say, "The buck stops with the school board. With that said, I do trust the majority of the teachers. But, I’ve been hearing a lot of community members in this school district that are not happy with what’s being taught in some of the classrooms, so it needs to all go through us. We need to review it all."

Click HERE to watch the full forum.
 

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