With incumbent Roger Trainor pulling his name from the District 5 race for the East Valley School District board of directors, there will definitely be a new face next year.
Six candidates for two positions have emerged, however (the District 3 candidates were profiled in last week’s Spokane Valley News Herald. Two – Deanna Ervin and Mike Nokavich – for District 5 kindly submitted answers to a short questionnaire. The third candidate, Stormy Frederickson, has remained mostly silent to media interview requests.
Focus, not surprisingly, continues to be the controversial kindergarten-through-eighth-grade transition of the district’s grade schools.
Ballots were mailed this week for the Aug. 6 primary. The top two candidates in each race will move on to the November general election.
Family/how long living in the East Valley School District: My entire life. My husband and I were both raised in Newman Lake attending East Farms, Mountain View Middle School and graduating from East Valley High School. We have two children attending school at East Farms, one in third grade and one in eighth grade next year.
Why did you want to file for candidacy? I am passionate about giving back to my community. I felt that right now my community would benefit from my experience in leadership and finance to help get everyone in the community and the district on the same page and working together to make our school district strong.
What are your goals for the EV school board? To help put together a plan that is supported by students, staff and district patrons.
What, in your mind, is the biggest issue facing the district in the immediate future? Financial and asset management seems to be a struggle for our district. In addition our district is experiencing conflict behind the transition to K-8. Because of the budgeting issues and conflict I feel that our children are being denied the optimal environment to receive the best possible education.
What surprising issues are people bringing up as you door-knock or meet folks at campaign stops? I have received questions about my thoughts on Common Core Standards which I was not expecting. I have started research on this subject so that I can be ready to answer questions and make informed decisions should I be elected.
Web site? N/A
Stormy Frederickson did not respond, after repeated attempts at contract, to this questionnaire.
Family/how long living in the East Valley School District: My wife Nikki and I have one daughter, Zoe, attending East Valley High School as a freshman. Three of my other children, Nick 24, Jaren 21 and Darbi 19 all graduated from East Valley School District. My wife and I own a small retail business, Piccadilly Crossing, located in Otis Orchards where we refinish countertops and do specialty coatings for grocery stores. I have never run for public office but have served in numerous capacities in the Scouting program and on the council for alcohol and drug abuse.
Why did you want to file for candidacy? My desire to run for school board was a result of seeing what I perceived was a lack of communication between our school board and the public it serves within our district. I attended numerous meetings where the public and parents were asked their opinions on various changes and programs only to realize that their minds were already made up. The meetings turned out to be more sales pitches than information gathering. I am not in agreement on the transition from our district to a K-8 program. While there are valid arguments and benefits to this program, I don't think they outweigh the negatives. Trying to swim upstream in this case I think is ill advised due to public skepticism and financial burdens facing our district. I think the board moved to fast and to far without first garnering more public support for the idea.
What, in your mind, is the biggest issue facing the district in the immediate future? I think the main point of emphasis in our district needs to be regaining the trust and support of not only parents in our district but the general public. I think this is obvious due to the ineffectiveness we have seen in trying to pass a levy. I perceive that we have the funnel turned upside down. In my view, the district should work like a funnel. We need to seek a wide scope of ideas, concerns, wishes, and opinions from the general public, students, teachers and parents. It would then be the school boards job to analyze those concerns "funnel" them down and make decisions on which ones need to be moved on to the superintendent. The superintendent would then use his expertise to enact said desires into viable programs based on policy, federal and state funding and specific needs for our district. Using this method would make most everyone feel included and allow us to function at a much higher level. I fear at this point we are doing the exact opposite, thus losing the partnership we need to have with those we are here to serve.