Special Election Committee Nominee for Vice President
The Nominating Committee asked each special election candidate to respond in writing to the following questions:
1. Introduce yourself as a candidate.
2. Explain why you are interested in serving as the WSSDA Vice President.
3. Share your experience serving on your local school board.
4. Share your experience serving on WSSDA committees, task forces, and/or caucuses.
5. Share any other leadership experience that you feel might be relevant to this position.
Central Valley School District
My initial foray into educational governance was initiated by my concern over the math curriculum my own children were being taught. As the father of seven, one of my primary responsibilities is to ensure my children are given a quality education. My wife and I have been married over 30 years and are enjoying being grandparents. We are close to being “empty nesters.” Our only child, at home, is in the 10th grade at Central Valley High School. I’m a veterinarian and have owned and operated the Pet Vet Hospital and Wellness Center since 1995. I employ 10 people and some of my team members have been with me for over 20 years. As an employer, I understand the educational demands required of my team. Personally, I received a Bachelor of Science Degree from the University of Idaho and a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from Washington State University. I’m an advocate for education as well as a consumer of public education.
Our world and education are changing at an ever increasingly rapid pace. WSSDA has the unique role of being the beacon helping address those challenges. Through WSSDA’s interfacing with the State and Federal Legislatures, OSPI, and the State Board of Education it is in a unique position to offer help and perspective ensuring that school board members have the knowledge, tools, and services they need to effectively keep pace with these changing times. The days of autocratic, brick and mortar schoolhouses built upon a geographical need are changing. With the expanse of technology and digital information how we teach and how students learn is changing. WSSDA will have an ever-increasing role in supporting local boards in those changes.
In 2007, I was elected to the school board of Central Valley School District. It was a time of flux as the Superintendent was retiring, physical facilities were crumbling and overflowing while budgets were diminishing. Since being on the board we have; hired a new Superintendent, navigated budget cuts, 2015 passed a 121.9 million Capital Facilities bond, remodeled or renovated nine schools and building two new grade schools. February 2018 we successfully passed a 129.9 million bond (passed by 70%) for a new third comprehensive high school, new middle school and remodel of an existing middle school. Before 2007, our District had a history of 12 years of failing bonds. Today, I am fortunate to be part of a growing progressive school district and board that has given me unique experiences and insights. During this time, I have served as:
- Board President – 2010-2011, 2015-2016
- Board Vice-President – 2009-2010, 2014-2015, 2018-2019
- Board Legislative Representative – 2011-2012, 2012-2013
As a member of WSSDA since 2007, my association and experiences have helped me develop a working knowledge of the organization and its purposes. As a member of the nomination committee since 2012, I have been a part of changing our election process from the Annual Conference based election to the current election process. Our committee has been a part of the selection and election of our organization’s leadership for the last seven years of my involvement. It has given me the opportunity to interface with many fellow board members and immediate past presidents from across the state. Additionally, serving on the FRN (Federal Relations Committee) since 2012 has provided ongoing education and contact with Federal issues affecting Education. This has included attending the NSBA Advocacy conference in Washington DC in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2018, and 2019 meeting with our Federal Legislators lobbying for the educational needs of our state. In connection with the Advocacy Conference, I have attended the NSBA Diversity Conference in 2016, 2018 and 2019.
Attending state and national conferences, regional meetings, and being involved in WSSDA committees have allowed me to interface with other individuals, perspectives, ideas, and knowledge. All of which have expanded my views and understanding of education outside my district.
From 2012-2017, I served as a Bishop for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. We have over 500 members in our local “Ward” or congregation. Besides administrative responsibilities, I was humbled to serve the emotional, spiritual and temporal needs of individuals and families. One of the primary principles of our faith is the pursuit of knowledge. Education and learning are fundamental to every element of our being. Knowledge is the key to choices and opportunities. I’m privileged to have received an education and believe in a lifetime of learning. This is a joy and a passion I hope to share with others.