The White Salmon Valley School District School Board will have one new face after the Nov. 5 election.
Current School Board Member Deborah Berg-strom, who holds Posi-tion 2, will step down from the board once her term expires in 2013. Board Chairman Paul Mosbrucker of Position 5 and current member Kris Kreps of Position 3 are both on the Nov. 5 ballot, but are running unopposed.
Voters will find Jan Brending, Bingen city manager, and Wayne Goodrich, an engineer for Insitu, both vying for Bergstrom’s empty seat.
Brending hopes to find balance between finances, technology
During her 27 years living just outside of Bingen, Brending has not only served as city manager, but has also been appointed to the White Salmon Planning Com-mission as chairman and sits on the board for the Mid-Columbia Eco-nomic Development District.
Now that her youngest daughter is about to graduate from Columbia High School, Brending said she is finally ready to contribute to the school board.
“I’ve been interested in the school board for a number of years. I think sometimes when your kids are in high school it’s harder to be involved, so the timing seemed to be appropriate this year,” Brending said.
Though she thinks her experience working with budgets could help her if she were elected, Brending said the insight she has gained from working with the city council would also be of value on the board.
“I think it’s easy to sit back in the corner and think ‘I would do things this way’ and because of my experience with the city of Bingen and city government I recognize that sometimes it’s a lot easier said than done,” she said.
Keeping funding in mind, Brending said that she wants to “ensure that children are getting the best education they possibly can” within the constraints of budgets and unfunded mandates.
That includes making technology available to students whenever possible.
“I think technology is changing so rapidly right now and it’s im-portant that our kids, to the best ability, that the district can provide them with all the tools so when they graduate they are able to take the path that they desire, whether it’s right into the workforce, into a trade school, community college, or four-year college,” Brending said.
Goodrich wants to expand academic opportunities
After reflecting on his own experience in a small, rural public school in Othello, Goodrich decided to give running for school board a go.
With two children at Henkle Middle School and one at Whitson Elementary School, Goodrich said he wants to ensure all students have some experience in various academic opportunities.
“A lot of times in rural areas the only thing kids know is what was available at the time, whereas the more exposure they have to what’s available in the world gives them more dreams they can look forward to,” Goodrich said.
The robotics program at Columbia High School and the numerous Advanced Placement courses available has particularly stood out to Goodrich, which got him going to school board meetings six years ago.
“I wanted to be involved after I saw the different varieties of programs that such a small school is able to support. That impressed me a lot about the district and the good direction it’s headed,” he said.
Being there when some impending changes come down the pipe was also a reason to run. As the Common Core teaching standards begin to be implemented, Goodrich said he would like to be on the look out for teachers and students.
“Being able to see that come to fruition and making sure that when those things are implemented it doesn’t kill the teachers is important because the environment that kids are being taught in now, it doesn’t look familiar to me from when I was a kid,” he said.
Understanding who parents are would also play a role in his presence on the board.
“I understand the small town environment. What it’s like to grow up in a small town with very similar demographics as you have here, a wide variety from people with very high education all the way to people with parents who don’t even have a high school diploma and they’re all trying to get to the same place,” Goodrich said.