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Board race pits newcomer Erica Fuller against 29-year incumbent Rod Boettcher

PMG FILE PHOTO - Don't forget to vote in the May 18 election for local school boards. The Centennial School Board has one contested race and three open seats with only one candidate running for each zone in the May 18 election.

The contested race pits newcomer Erica Fuller against Rod Boettcher, who has served on the Centennial board for 29 years.

School board members are volunteers and will serve four year terms, ending June 30, 2025.

The election comes at a time when schools are in the spotlight as never before. The year of remote learning has prompted controversy with some people saying schools should wait to open buildings and many others urging schools to immediately open more fully.

The Outlook asked Centennial School Board candidates for information on their candidacy, their answers appear below:

COURTESY PHOTO: DAVID LINN - David Linn

- Position 1, Zone 1

David Linn

Age: 39

Occupation: Oregon state employee in Licensing

Children in Centennial schools: 1 son, 1 niece

Number of school meetings attended in the last year: 10 

Favorite children's book: "The Butter Battle Book," by Dr. Seuss

What is the one thing you think the school district could do better? 

"They could do more to connect with the community and community groups. Public announcements are rarely posted beyond the Board website. We need to do more to inform and involve the community in the decisions made by the school board."

COURTESY PHOTO: CLAUDIA ANDREWS - Claudia Andrews

- Position 5, Zone 3

Claudia Andrews

Age: 64

Occupation: School board member, retired from paid work

Children in Centennial schools: 0

Number of school meetings attended in the last year: 8

Favorite children's book: "A Weekend with Wendell," by Kevin Henkes

What is the one thing you think the school district could do better? 

"Centennial School District teachers and staff do a great job making sure every kid thrives in school, but that work is never done. The pandemic has exacerbated learning gaps that must be corrected. This correction will command the attention of every person involved with the schools in the coming years. I intend to focus on ensuring that kids have the resources to thrive."

COURTESY PHOTO: ROD BOETTCHER - Rod Boettcher

- Position 6, At Large

Rod Boettcher

Age: 73

Occupation: Retired

Children in Centennial schools: 3 past, 4 grandchildren current

Number of school meetings attended in the past year: at least 35.

Favorite children's book: "Green Eggs and Ham," by Dr. Seuss

What is the one thing you think the school district could do better? 

"Continue to monitor, within the limited state funding, district demographic changes to respond quickly with teacher hirings and accommodations. I spoke up strongly for the diversity direction of the district, walked 72 miles canvassing for the recent bond victory, producing safe schools and upgrading facilities to support better educational environments. I have attended thousands of hours of meetings of every imaginable name and purpose, with only coffee and cookies as payment.

"Once an Eagle, always an Eagle."

COURTESY PHOTO: ERICA FULLER - Erica Fuller

- Erica Fuller 

Age: 29

Occupation: Community organizer and small business owner

Children in Centennial schools: 0

Number of school meetings attended in the last year: 2

Favorite children's book: "Running out of Time," by Margaret Peterson Haddix 

What is the one thing you think the school district could do better? 

"As an alumni of the Centennial School District, I strongly believe we need to restructure the current educational system so that it helps students, instead of punishing them for things outside of their control such as homelessness, food insecurity and mental illness. Basic human needs are required to succeed, and we need to make sure every student has theirs met. I want us to create a culture that is inclusive of everyone."  

COURTESY PHOTO: HEATH CURRY  - Heath Curry

- Position 7, At Large

Heath Curry

Age: 46

Occupation: Paralegal

Children in Centennial schools: 2

Number of school meetings attended in the last year:  2-3.

Favorite children's book: "Where the Wild Things Are," by Maurice Sendak

What is the one thing you think the school district could do better? 

"Centennial District gets a lot right. The area that all schools need to improve on is attendance. The chronically absent rate for the district is 28%, per the latest data. The district moved to a later start time in 2019, but absenteeism is still greatest among students of color, and students who receive free or reduced lunch. This data means that there is more we can do to make sure we are showing up for our kids."

 

Sidebar

Key May 18 election dates

- April 28: ballots will be mailed to voters.

- May 11: last day for voters to safely return ballots by mail.

- May 18: election day.


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