|Brookings-Harbor School board candidates|
|May 07, 2013 08:36 pm|
Alice Farmer, a self-employed business owner, is running for the Brookings-Harbor School District Position 2 because she is dedicated to improving the lives of children.
“I will have three children attending the Brookings-Harbor School District, one child in each school,” Farmer said. “This is a good time to get involved.”
Farmer holds a bachelor of science in liberal arts from Oregon State University. Her degree is in human communications and she is educated on verbal and non-verbal communications, including interpersonal negotiations and conflict management.
She is involved with many different activities in Curry County including civil service with the Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) Advisory Board working with children, Parent Teacher Organization (PTO) vice president at the Kalmiopsis and Azalea schools, an Access to Student Assistance Programs In Reach of Everyone (ASPIRE) mentor at the high school and Azalea Court pageant director.
“I have had the wonderful opportunity of working closely with (teachers, staff and administrators) through various PTO events,” Farmer said. “Their hearts are in the right place and I would like to encourage and support open communication across the entire district. This is critical as we move forward as a team.”
Farmer sees great things happening in the school district’s future. Changing technology is opening up the avenue of online classes and she would like to see virtual education expanded. She would also like to offer electives to students that will be “useful” in everyday life.
“I understand that these things all cost money,” Farmer said. “I am hopeful that, working as a cohesive group, we can adapt to the needs of our students.”
Raised in Brookings since the age of 9, Farmer, now 39, has spent most of her life in the area. She has been married for 20 years and has three children. She is a graduate of Brookings Harbor High School, class of 1991. Farmer is currently the owner of Ali’s Graphic Shirts as well as a licensed insurance agent.
“My education, community involvement and dedication as a parent will be helpful if I were to be elected,” Farmer said. “I am dedicated to improving the lives of our kids and our community.”
Incumbent Carol Slewing, a retired Brookings resident, is running for the Brookings-Harbor School District Position 5 seat because of her passion for educating children.
“I have been involved with children and education most of my adult life,” she said. “I have a personal need to be involved with children and strive for quality education.”
Slewing is currently serving her fourth year on the Brookings-Harbor School District Board. She has served three years as vice chairman and is currently the board chairman.
She was employed for 20 years at Mountain Union School District in Northern California as administrative secretary. During this time she was the secretary for that districts’ school board. Slewing worked as the transportation coordinator and she applied for and received grants to replace seven school buses. She was also a legal secretary in San Francisco for nine years.
“After 20 years of attending and transcribing minutes, I became very familiar with policies, practices and Robert’s Rules of Order,” she said.
Her past is filled with leadership roles. She has served as the Equestrian leader for 4-H for nine years, volunteered at the Lions Diabetic Camp for seven years, was a PTA officer, a fire department volunteer, and currently is the president-elect for the Brooking’s Soroptimist International Organization.
She hopes to see growth in the district via online education. Slewing would also like to move forward with evolving technical learning in the area’s schools.
“I would like to see vocational education incorporated back into our curriculum and hire another counselor for the district,” she said.
Slewing attended San Francisco College and San Francisco State College, and has two years in higher education.
The 72-year-old widow with three children and nine foster children enjoys gardening and reading in her spare time. Slewing has called Brookings home for the past 12 years.
“I want to continue serving on the school board as many things are unfinished,” Slewing said. “I am concerned about the betterment of the school district and the future education of our students.”
Katherine Johnson, leadership and organizational consultant for the schools, is running for the Brookings-Harbor School District Position 5 because she has a passion for helping the younger generations succeed in life.
She was inspired to run because of her family. She has a son who was injured when he was in the second grade.
Johnson’s son needed an aide to help him through middle school. She said the district was great about offering him the proper classes to help him succeed and it is her time now to repay the kindness.
Johnson currently volunteers at the schools as a motivational speaker and leadership development consultant. She is the lead mentor for the Friends of Rachel (FOR) Club at Azalea Middle School and works with the students in the robotics programs at the high school. Johnson also traveled to Moscow to teach Western leadership skills with 15 students. She currently serves on the district budget and technology committees.
“I have not volunteered just for the benefit of my own children,” Johnson said. “I truly love being on campuses.”
The school board budget is important for Johnson. She would like to take what the district already has and be more creative in the options offered to students.
“I feel that, if the board is not being innovative and looking for answers for their staff and students, then they are not being an effective board,” Johnson said.
Updating and teaching students about changing technology is something that Johnson would like to see happen.
“Our students are more technologically advanced than our teachers and if we don’t catch up with them, we are going to lose them,” Johnson said.
Johnson wants this position because of her knowledge of the schools in Brookings and her passion for the students.
“In addition to my professional and educational background, I have spent 12-plus years in the schools getting to know students,” she said.
Johnson, 46, has been married for 21 years. She has five children and one foster child, as well as five grandchildren. She enjoys gardening and reading in her spare time, and says that being with her family is a great way to spend her time.
“I am fortunate that I get to use what I love to do to help others,” Johnson said. “We have a wealth of talent in this community and people who would love to share with our students.”
Brad Peters, owner of New Hope Plumbing, is up for re-election to the Brookings-Harbor School District Position 4 and believes that being active in the community is essential, and wasting money is not an option.
“I would like to bring 17C into the 20th century. I would like to work with what (the district) has but make it a little more modern.”
Peters would like to have the school board work to get vocational classes back into the curriculum. He feels that trade classes such as wood shop, carpentry and plumbing will help students who are not planning to go to college.
He would also like to implement online classes to help students the who advance faster than others. Remodeling Pacific Bridges, the districts alternative school, would help with that process, Peters said.
Getting the students at Kalmiopsis Elementary to have physical education back in their lesson plans is something he would like to see happen.
“They don’t do PE like they used to anymore. Those little, tiny kids have to wear down their batteries, always,” Peters said.
Honesty and transparency are what he wants to bring to the school board for future endeavors.
“They did a wonderful job teaching my kids and I just have an interest in public education now,” Peters said. “I just want to make sure they are getting what the district pays for and they are doing a good job so far.”
He currently volunteers at the schools, and is serving his fourth year on the school board. He said he likes working at the schools and really enjoys the people that he meets.
“I want to make life a little more fulfilling for students at 17C,” Peters said.
Peters arrived in Brookings in 1988 and has been married for 29 years. He has three children and one granddaughter. “I enjoy every minute being with her,” Peters said.
He also enjoys riding all terrain vehicles with his son, and spending time with his family.
Retired teacher Susan Chambers is running for the Brookings-Harbor School District Position 4 because she would like to see the graduation rates change.
“I was inspired to run when I read last year that over one third of the senior class failed to graduate because of the shortened days and inability to earn enough credit hours,” Chambers said.
“I would like to help improve the quality of education for our students and ensure that they are fully prepared for success in college or other chosen careers.
“With a budget of nearly $20 million dollars a year, the district must offer students enough classes to enable a greater number of them to graduate. I would like to bring back the safety net to keep so many students from falling through the cracks. And bring back vocational education using the building specifically built for that purpose and still being paid for by the community.”
Chambers taught in special education and vocational classes. She was a research analyst for the State of Ohio Department of Education and is licensed in Oregon to substitute teach for grades kindergarten through 12, on all subject matters.
She served on the Brookings-Harbor School District board from 2005-09. She has raised money for several sports teams and academics at the high school, contributed to AFS (formerly American Field Service) and is a five-year member of a philanthropic education organization dedicated to raising scholarships for young women attending college.
Chambers said she is qualified to do the job because of her education, experience teaching on all levels, doing research for the state regarding educational matters, and the training she received with the Oregon School Boards Association from her last term on the board.
In addition to raising graduation rates, Chambers wants the students to leave the school with a brighter future than they had before.
“I would like to see the district provide a great and memorable experience for all those attending our schools,” Chambers said. “I would like it to be the springboard for a wonderful future for the young people of this community.”
Chambers, 59, is married with four grown children, the youngest a graduate of Brookings Harbor High School. She enjoys arts and crafts, boating, fishing and sports in her spare time.
Bruce Raleigh, a computer consultant and business owner, is running for the Brookings-Harbor School District Position 5 because he wants to see students have a well-rounded education to prepare them to be the future leaders of the country.
“I have worked with the youth for several years and enjoy working with that age group,” Raleigh said.
I just have a desire for them to be well prepared for their future endeavors for their life and I think education is an important part of that preparation,” Raleigh said.
He currently works with the youth programs at his local church, is a Boy Scouts of America scoutmaster, is on the budget committee for the school district and is a part of the Curry County Citizens Committee.
Raleigh feels that there is too much emphasis on the students who are college bound than those who are not. He said the students who are in the schools are the future leaders and he wants to make sure they are prepared for that role.
“What I would like to see is the school board work with the administrators to ensure that our students receive a quality education,” Raleigh said; “to see a cohesive team working together for the betterment of the students.”
Adding vocational classes to the curriculum and improving test scores are plans he would like to see implemented. He wants the students to have a safe and positive learning environment as well.
Raleigh lists among his qualifications his volunteer work, leadership training and that he understands the importance of education. Getting involved in the community is a passion for him and he feels he would be an asset to the district because of his easy-going personality, and that he works well with others.
“I feel like I have a good reputation in the community and I try to give it my all to whatever I take on or volunteer for,” Raleigh said.
Raleigh, 52, has been married for 29 years and has six children and three grandchildren. He has been in Brookings five years and the family fell in love with the hiking trails and outdoor activities that the area offers.
“I want to make a difference in our community and to me the best way to make a difference is get involved,” Raleigh said.
Incumbent Allene Fewell wants to finish the job that she started four years ago. She is running for re-election to the Brookings-Harbor School District Position 2.
“I want what is in the best interest of our students and to represent the citizens of this community,” Fewell said.
Fewell ran the Access to Student Assistance Programs In Reach of Everyone (ASPIRE) office at the high school, mentoring numerous students.
She raised more than $57,000 for the ASPIRE grant writing team. This money purchased 30 new computers, desks, chairs and printers for the high school library computer lab. She is an advocate for special educational causes, raises money for numerous non-profit organizations in the area and is currently the vice chair of the school board.
Fewell would like to see vocational classes, such as wood and metal shop, returned to the schools. She also wants to add any other trade classes that may benefit the students in their future endeavors.
“I want to improve our graduation rates and add electives so that our students will have enough credits to graduate,” Fewell said. “I want to see our test scores improve, as this will allow our students to earn a living wage.”
According to Fewell, she has volunteered throughout the community. She was a founding member of the Philanthropic Educational Organization Chapter XV, which helps women with scholarships for higher educational opportunities.
Fewell, a creative design art instructor, is the head of the household and has a daughter who graduated from Brookings-Harbor High School. She enjoys creative arts and paper crafting in her spare time.
“I am very concerned with the educational success of our students,” said Fewell.