Redmond School Board Endorsements ▶ [With Video] | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Redmond School Board Endorsements ▶ [With Video]

Four seats are up for grabs on the Redmond School Board. Three are contested. Here's our take.

Vote Liz Goodrich for Redmond School Board #5

John Campbell and Liz Goodrich, the incumbent, are running for the Redmond school board in position 5. In this race, we see no reason to unseat the person already at work, Goodrich. Both Campbell and Goodrich have experience in the classroom; Campbell as a former science teacher, Goodrich as a former English teacher. This is valuable experience for a school board member who's tasked with supervising the superintendent, overseeing budgets and crafting policy for the district. Still, a few key points tip our support for Goodrich. Campbell is focused on "the basics" of encouraging more skills in math and reading — certainly important facets of education, but in Goodrich we see a leader more philosophically realistic about the many and complex needs of learners. Schools today are not only places to learn to read and write; they're also lifelines for students to explore creativity and gain socioemotional skills and social supports they may not get at home. Goodrich supports the district's age-appropriate, science-based curriculum for sex ed, which offers a take-home component that allows parents and guardians to offer input. Campbell believes this type of education should wait until high school. On guns in schools, Campbell is in support of training and arming teachers; Goodrich is not. Both support teaching the full, and sometimes less-than-ideal history of the United States, though Campbell's mention of a focus on the Constitution and teaching about "tyrannical governments" felt like a tip of the hat to the militia movement that is trying to take root in Redmond today.

While Redmond has become a hotbed of strong political opinions of late, Goodrich told us she's committed to putting politics aside and working to improve outcomes for every student. We believe her. Vote Liz Goodrich for Redmond School District 2J, Position 5.

WATCH: Our interview with Goodrich and Campbell:

Vote Brad Porterfield for Redmond School Board #4

The topic of "parental rights" has become a tell these days for a group of right-leaning people who believe in preventing other people's children from learning about the diversity of the human experience. This is a key talking point in Keri Lopez's campaign. While it's fair and appropriate to allow parents to decide what's best for their own children, we draw the line at allowing one person's reservations about teaching accurate history, sex ed or gender issues in schools to impact every student in a public school. Lopez should be replaced with someone less interested in the culture wars.

In Brad Porterfield we see someone who's committed to finding common ground and serving all students – not working to invite wedge issues into a school board campaign. Porterfield has classroom teaching experience and now serves on a number of boards committed to the health of the community, including East Cascades Works, Central Oregon Health Council and as chair of the Redmond Parks Committee. Vote Brad Porterfield for Redmond School District 2J, Position 4.

Vote Amanda Page for Redmond School Board #3

Amanda Page is a flight paramedic and program development manager with a bachelor's in business management. Her experience on the Education Committee for The Klamath Tribes will be beneficial on the school board. Page believes that access to age-appropriate books should not be limited based on a small minority of parents' objections. Rather, she believes in parents' rights to opt out individually for their children. Likewise, she believes in parents' ability to opt out of sex ed, but not in banning it outright in schools. She does not support an opt-out for core curriculum, including history. In a political landscape where "parents' rights" are being used to whip up a base of aggrieved culture warriors, we are looking for those who seek to rise above that, like Page. Wendell Otto appears to have an educational background that would lend itself well to a school board, but does not appear to understand the need for sharing his views widely with the public before an election. He first told us that health issues stood in the way of participating in an interview with us, and then later declined. Candidates running for public positions should not shy away from speaking with all of the public, rather than interacting only with those they perceive to be in their "camp." Vote Amanda Page for Redmond School District 2J, Position 3.

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