Public education has been a hot topic of discussion at Alan Nidiffer’s home for years, so when an opportunity to run for Brookings-Harbor School Board came up, he took it.
“I have long-term roots in the community and I want to see the schools succeed,” said Nidiffer, whose wife is a subsitute teacher. He has two children, one in the elementary school, another at the middle school.
“I’m concerned about the finances and I’d like to use my business experience to look into it and find ways to make the most of the dollars,” he said.
This is the first time Nidiffer, 40, has run for elected office. He is running against Tony Voudy for Position 2 on the board in the May 16 special district election.
Nidiffer was born and raised in Brookings. He is a graduate of Brookings-Harbor High School and earned a Bachelor of Science degree in business administration at Oregon State University.
He worked in the forest service products industry for many years until he returned to Brookings in 2005, where he entered the family business as the IT director and a board member for C&K Markets Inc. He currently works as an agent for New York Life.
He is past president and current board secretary of the Brookings Flying Club and worked on the Ray’s Charitable Foundation for years, which provided funds for children’s health and family welfare endeavors.
“My strengths are managing people and working with teams to get things done,” Nidiffer said.
At the top of his list for the schools is to broaden class choices for students that focus on non-academic subjects such as arts, music and vocational training. He’d also like to see continued improvements made to increase graduation rates, as well as improved relations between administration and staff.
“I don’t really have any hot button issues,” he said. “You can’t be singularly focused on any one thing. You need to look at the bigger picture.”
To prepare for being on the board, Nidiffer has been talking to school administrators and attending community information meetings presented by the district.
“I’m looking forward to learning how things work,” he said. “I like to solve problems.”
Tony Voudy likes to “make a difference” in the community, so when a friend encouraged him to run for a seat on the Brookings-Harbor School District, he jumped right in.
“I talked with my wife about it, and she said I should do it,” he said.
This is the first time Voudy, 35, has run for elected office. He is running against Alan Nidiffer for Position 2 on the board in the May 16 special district election.
Running for school board, he said, is “a way to get my feet wet, to learn to do things.”
Voudy, who works as the Curry County Veterans Service Officer in Gold Beach, moved to Brookings in 2009 with his wife and daughter. Before that, he served seven years in the U.S. Air Force and Army, and worked in the construction industry in the San Francisco region. The family moved to Brookings to be with family.
Voudy, who worked as a military policeman in the Army, would like to see safety and security upgrades made at the schools. “I have a military mind and I can help with that,” he said.
He also thinks that being 35, he can “have a strong rapport with students.”
He doesn’t necessarily see any major problems with how the district is currently operated, but there’s always room for improvement.
“There’s not necessarily anything wrong, but I can help make improvements where they are needed,” he said.
He’d like to see more after-school programs that can help students catch up or stay up to speed on school work so they don’t fall behind.
He’d also like to see more community involvement at the schools.
“I like to see more people involved; more volunteers, more business people and retirees,” he said. “I have the heart and drive to motivate people, to get to the bottom of things and get things done.”