With less than two years on the Redmond School Board under her belt, Shawn Hartfield is seeking election to her first full term in the Position 1 seat. Voters should allow her to build on the experience she’s already acquired.
Meanwhile, voters will also see two names on the ballot for the Position 3 slot on the board. Kathleen Brady withdrew too late to have her name removed from the ballot, and only Travis Bennett is actually seeking the school board job.
Hartfield, 46, was appointed to the board in October 2015 when Rhonda Etnire moved out of the district. She holds a master’s degree in management from St. Mary’s College in California, teaches part time at Central Oregon Community College and owns Buckstop Truckware with her husband. She has three children in the Redmond district.
Hartfield would like to see the district find more ways to keep children engaged in their educations. If kids aren’t happy and involved in school, she says, they’re far more likely to drop out. Extracurricular activities are particularly important in high school, and she’d like to find ways to get those who are not involved and get them involved. At the same time, she says, all the district’s elementary schools should have some extracurricular activities, as well.
Hartfield notes the district should have enough space for the next few years, and she wants to concentrate on graduating students who, if college is not on the horizon, are ready to go to work.
Her opponent, B.J. Soper, 41, is a former business owner who now works as a handyman. While he’s working hard to discover what he doesn’t know about the school district and would make a valuable addition to the board, Hartfield has gone through the learning curve that Soper is just beginning.
Since she’s been there, the district has rewritten all its board and district policies, and, Hartfield says, she and other relatively new members feel up to speed. Rather than start over, district voters should return her to the job.