Meet the candidates: Silver Falls School Board

May 2015 Posted in News, School

Voters in the Silver Falls School District can vote for one candidate in each zone or write-in a candidate. The candidates were asked the same questions. Each candidate was given 300 words to respond.

The questions were:

1. WHY: Why they are running for the school board?

2. GOALS: If elected what are their top three goals?

3. EUGENE FIELD: If elected, would you stay with the decision to close Eugene Field or revisit the issue?

4.LEADERSHIP: What four words would you use to describe your leadership style?

5. CHANGES: If elected, what changes would you want to bring to the school board?

6. CONTACT: How can voters contact you?

Ballots need to be returned by Tuesday, May 19. Ballots must be received by 8 p.m. May 19. Postmarks do not count.




Education: Oregon State University, Silverton High School.

Occupation: A farmer.

Why: I always volunteered in my children’s classrooms when they were younger and really enjoyed being around the kids and staff. I decided to run for the board to get more involved and to help make decisions that would benefit kids board.

Goals: 1. Planning for future facility needs district wide.

2. Continue technology upgrades so all our schools have the same technological capacities and capabilities.

3. Have everyone (board, administration, staff) working together to do whats best for all kids in the district, and continue to ask for community input, across the whole district, to make informed decisions.

Eugene Field: I would stay with the decision to close the building.

Eugene Field. A board goal this year placed priority emphasis on discontinuing use of Eugene Field. We investigated many proposals and options for the building and the majority determined it was time to close the building and move forward with the plan now in place.

Leadership: Fair, Committed, Service minded, A listener.

Changes: Issues that have come up lately have made it clear we need to be sure we are using all means possible to communicate with the public and let people know whats going on in the district. We also need to be sure we seek input from people in all corners of the district.




Education: Oregon State University and has done post graduate work at Western Oregon. Silverton High School.

Occupation: Educator, basketball coach, farmer.

Why: Sadly, there’s a disconnect between the district community as a whole and district leadership. Education is my calling, taught for 40 years. Credible communication to formulate well thoughtout plans for the education of our young people is attainable. I can help.

Goals: A proactive board in communicating with the community. Implement a management style that utilizes the experience and expertise of staff, who are in the trenches, for guiding plans and decisions. Provide oversight to the superintendent’s office to assure it follows policy in a fair and thoughtful manner. A culture will be created, where district patrons and personnel will know and trust the best outcome is being achieved.

Eugene Field: More concerning than it being closed or not is the lack of leadership and thoughtful planning for placement of the staff and students. At last count, five different schools are having their staffs and students relocated or reconfigured in the next 18 months. This amount of upheaval and disruption to the educational lives of students and the unbelievable amount of stress being placed on those staffs is inexcusable. Not to mention the hidden costs involved, money obligated that will jeopardize instruction and staffing levels.

Leadership: Ask, listen, learn, act.

Changes: Working to improve board-community communications throughout the district would be a priority. School boards need to have a broader view, not just listen and respond to small organized pressure groups. Our current mess is much because the board has listened, and responded, to a small organized single-interest group, at the expense of the larger community. They haven’t really considered the district wide consequences of single-agenda decisions.





Education:  Silverton schools, El Camino JC, Oregon College of Education.

Occupation:  Business management.

Why: After listening to concerns of friends and neighbors regarding the failed bond measures, it was apparent there was a lack of information and clarity available to enable voters to make informed judgments. In studying the many issues, I determined my business experiences and long-time interest in our school district would be beneficial in finding acceptable solutions.

Goals: 1) to make the education of our students the #1 priority; 2) to be fiscally responsible 3) to establish faith and trust in the SFSD Board and administration by the creation of a reliable, understandable long-term plan of direction for the district.

Eugene Field: The EFS discussion is one of the many issues facing the board that require an objective review and are in need of a proper course of action. It does not serve the district well to focus only on EFS to the detriment of solving the many other problems. District leadership made the decision to go forward with a new middle school at the Schlador site without bond money. To do this, they are proposing to spend district reserves and to take out a loan to be repaid annually from the general fund in order to place modular classrooms on the site. The district reserve fund in question is the maintenance and repair fund accumulated over years, and is earmarked for use in the upkeep of all district facilities. Borrowing against the general fund will reduce funds available for instruction and programs, and may cause reductions over the life of the loan.

Leadership: Inquisitive, objective, inclusive, dependable.

Changes: I would like to bring about more transparency within the decision-making process, create an atmosphere that is supportive of children, parents and teachers, and improve fiscal responsibility.




Education:  Silverton, Chemeketa Community College. Public & Business Administration, A Proper Understanding of K-12 Education: Theory and Practice (12 week course)  Hillsdale College Online Current, Land Use Planning. Budgets, Ford Foundation Community Leadership. Citizen Involvement, Vocational & Technical Certificates.

Occupation: Retired Small Business Owner, U.S. Marine Corps.

Why: Let’s be honest, with two failed bond levies, many school board directors resigning, citizen confusion and frustration at an all time high, it’s really time for change. With my prior school board experience, I feel I can help make some positive changes to the current school board.

Goals: 1.To bring citizen involvement into the decision making process. This will allow more in-put and better communication through out the district.

2. To ensure all schools are safe, healthy, and functional for students and staff. We need to know what needs to be corrected or replaced.

3. Increase transparency by putting out the school districts “checkbook” this will allow the community to see where and how the money is being spent.

Eugene Field: I would leave Eugene Field closed.

Leadership: Collaborations, Involvement, Receptive, Teamwork.

Changes: Create and use a citizen involvement committee to help guide the school board, and communicate information to the community. More involvement with the community, city government, and other local agency’s.More workshop sessions for goal setting, tracking district results.

Contact:; Email:;
Facebook/squiresforschoolboard or 503-884-0124



Education: Diploma La Mirada High School

Occupation: Mortgage Advisor Stonegate Mortgage

Why: I care about our children’s academic growth and development, and I want to ensure they have the tools and resources necessary to achieve success.

Goals: 1)  Get to know my fellow board members:  In order to build unity, it’s vital we understand one another as it relates to personality, and how we convey our thoughts and ideas.

2)  Immerse myself in the issues currently facing the school board:  This will allow me to hit the ground running once the term begins.

3)  Work to build a community coalition:  It’s important that we are all working together to achieve a common purpose.

Eugene Field: I would stay with the decision to close Eugene Field.

Leadership: Servant:  Placing the needs of others first. Democratic:  Utilize input from the group. Affiliative:  Importance of teamwork and harmony by connecting with one another. Situational:  Not relying on one preferred style as each scenario is different.

Changes: By virtue of the upcoming election change will happen organically, so from my point of view I believe this question may be premature and better served by revisiting in six months.





Education: Education: BS, Psychology, Oregon State University, 1999

Occupation: Area Business Manager for DePuy Synthes Mitek Sports Medicine / Johnson & Johnson

Why: I’m running because I deeply care about the future of our kids’ education. I want to be a part of developing and guiding the future vision of our district as we have many tough issues that need to be addressed. I come to the school board with no agenda other than to help solve the problems before us and ultimately doing what’s best for our kids.

Goals: 1. Help bridge the “divide” that exists in our town. In order to successfully progress positively, we as a school board must work to bring all sides together and listen to all input as to make the best decisions for our district.

2. Continue to progress in finding both short and long term solutions for Eugene Field School – to me it’s clear that we owe it to the students and teachers of Eugene Field to place them in a better and more modern facility.

3. Develop a long-term, 20-year master facility plan for the district – Eugene Field isn’t the only facility.

Eugene Field: I would continue with the decision to close Eugene Field School.

Leadership: Gracious, deliberate, inclusive, willing to learn.

Changes: I come with no list of things that I’d like to change. However, what I’d like to see fostered is a climate in which the school board and community work hand in hand together to tackle the difficult issues set before us. We must remember that we’re all in this together and only together in unity will we see progress.

Contact:; Facebook: “Aaron Koch”



Education:  Silverton High School, Columbia Basin College

Occupation: Drilling Product Manager Forge Pacific

Why: The majority of the school board members and the superintendant are not following the wishes of the democratic majority of the voters.  An overwhelming number of patrons of SFSD do not trust or have faith in the decision making process used by the board and or superintendant. The educational opportunities of our children and grandchildren are at stake. We must come together ensuring those educational opportunities are the best possible at the lowest cost. I intend on using my voice and presence on the board making that happen.

Goals: I have only one goal and that is to bring everyone together in a place that fosters dignity and respect. A place where there is no fear of retribution, where everyone is treated equally and fairly. A place that looks upon where you live as unimportant, but the thoughts and the issues you bring to the table are. When I accomplish this one goal there is no other issue we cannot resolve.

Eugene Field: There are far more important issues concerning the education of our young people, than Eugene Field.

Leadership: Courage, Integrity, Common sense, Logic.

Changes: I vision a board that encourages participation from everyone. An open minded and respectful board that manages the affairs of the school district rather than passing that responsibility off to the superintendant. A board dedicated to the core value that all people are equal and deserve to have their opinions asked for and listened to concerning educational opportunities.

Contact:  I live at 502 Lewis Street in Silverton.
My phone number is 503-881-9255 email address




Education: bachelors degree, Community Crime Prevention

Occupation: Special Needs Assistant (Until June, 2015)

Why: The people in the Silver Falls School District have all benefited from the reputation of our schools, from our graduation rate to real estate values.  I joined the race as a write-in candidate out of fear that our present challenges may lead to a steep decline in those benefits.  I am equipped with the right skill set, time and energy to really dig in and move forward.

Goals: 1) Fostering Community involvement. I am committed to reaching out to the community and opening dialogue where they are confident that their opinions are heard and shared.

2) Fiscally responsible decisions.

3) Swift Response to Concerns.  Our children must receive services which are necessary, effective, and a good fit.

Eugene Field:  Based on solid research, Eugene Field is not fit for its present use. I have heard interesting ideas on what else could be done with the facility or grounds.

Leadership: Honest, Objective, Straight-Forward, Fair.

Changes: I would actively seek forge a collaborative relationship between the Board and the citizens which it is intended to serve.  I have been successful in forging effective working relationships among opposed parties in courtroom situations, and I am ready to accept an equally necessary challenge here.

Facebook page:



Eduation:  North Salem High School, Mt Hood Community College.

Occupation: Agriculture.

Why: I’m running because this school district is in turmoil. Progress cannot happen, and quality education cannot continue until the fighting stops, agendas are cast aside, and leadership emerges, with the voters trust regained.

Goals: 1. Maintain quality education by making sure funds are available to continue programs through fiscal responsibility. Current plans jeopardize this.

2. Prioritize building maintenance, and make sure repairs are done. This hasn’t been done, and people need to be held accountable.

3, Regain the voters trust. Make myself available to hear, and see concerns at every school. Without that trust, I believe it will be nearly impossible to pass a bond.

Eugene Field: I feel we have far more important issues facing SFSD than visiting this decision again, but I will not shy away from any issue if presented.

Leadership: Honest, Direct, Logical, Open

Changes: Transparency, listening to the voters, common sense. Take board meetings to different schools on a regular basis. Listen to everyone, collect facts so that data driven decisions can be made.





Education: BA Public Policy and Administration, Western Oregon University; MA Teaching, University of Oregon.

Occupation: Educator.

Why: I want to use my education and experience to benefit my community.   Education is an area I really care about and I believe that I have the skills and drive to make a difference. My kids are students in Silver Falls School District and I also want to make sure that they and their classmates have the best the district can offer them. I also know that strong school districts benefit the community as a whole and I want to do my part in making ours great.

Goals: I want to see that all of the schools have stronger ties to each other, and that a sense of cooperation, rather than competition grows between them. I plan to ensure that all schools in the district are treated fairly and recognized for their accomplishments. I will work to ensure I get to know each school and will make policy and budget decisions based on their specific needs and strengths.

Eugene Field: I have no plans to overturn previous board decisions, but am willing to look at any plans that are economically viable and will be beneficial to the school district and community.

Leadership: Creative, cooperative, logical, fair.

Changes: I will bring an open mind to the school board and will work to ensure that community voices are given fair consideration. I will work with parent-teacher groups to ensure that the needs of all of our schools are heard and encourage my colleagues to do so as well.  I will give a new perspective to the board and will strive to make decisions that ensure that our students are provided with opportunities that will prepare them for entry into their adult life.




Eduation: BS. Manufacturing Engineering, Oregon Institute of Technology.

Occupation: Owner – RES Equipment and Buchholz-Schmitz Farms.

Why: I started asking questions years ago, and the answers I received didn’t line up with what I was witnessing in my school.  I want more openness and to restore trust.

Goals: 1. Improve communication.

2. Develop detailed long term vision for our building needs.

3. Present to the voters a modest, passable bond.

Eugene Field: Yes and maybe. If the current Schlador Street plan works out, then yes. I have deep concerns that the amount we have budgeted for such a large undertaking will be inadequate to make it a safe and effective learning environment. If costs start to spiral up greatly, then it could be reconsidered.

Leadership: Thoughtful, Independent, Curious, Honest.

Changes: Make it a board practice for 2-3 members to annually attend parent group/site council meetings at each of our schools. I believe many citizens currently have a hard time giving input to the board.  I’m sure we’ll get better community input if we board members are sitting in their buildings in their chairs and having a relaxed conversation with give and take, were there are no cameras or microphones to catch a mis-spoken word or phrase. Re-building trust and developing a better understanding of each other is a must for this school district to succeed. We can and we will. Go Foxes!!

Contact:  My e-mail is
Should anyone care to meet for coffee or an evening beverage, I’m usually available.


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