Bend-La Pine Schools voters will replace Cheri Helt when they choose a new Zone 1 board representative May 21. The three candidates, Mark Capell, Caroline Skidmore and Chet Liew, are well qualified for the job. Capell deserves your vote.
Skidmore, 47, is a pediatric speech pathologist in private practice in Bend. This is her first run for political office, and she hopes to focus her efforts on getting more money for schools and seeing that it’s spent wisely. She hopes to expand mental health services, including adding counselors, and to help schools create cultures of kindness and inclusivity.
Liew, 43, is an information technology architect with TDS Telecom, which owns Bend Broadband. While he’s pleased with the district’s embrace of technology, he says the district needs to better curate programs so that they’re more standardized from classroom to classroom. He’d certainly be a substantial asset when the board is making technology-related decisions. Liew is also concerned that different socioeconomic factors create different opportunities for students at different schools.
Capell, 59, is a lifelong Bend resident and owner of CMIT Solutions, which acts like an outsourced information technology department for small businesses. He spent eight years on the Bend City Council, losing his seat to Nathan Boddie in 2014.
His time on the city council is one of the things that recommend Capell for the school board. He was a moderate, thoughtful voice. The district is and will continue to build new schools over the next few years. Capell brings experience with planning for and executing large building projects. He’s also familiar with the need to ask the community for funding.
Capell wants to be on the school board because he knows the importance of education and believes in public service. He’s had experience in public office and has demonstrated his ability to work with those with whom he disagrees. Like Skidmore and Liew, he wants to make the district’s schools as safe as they can be. All three candidates would likely make voters proud. Capell has earned the chance to serve again.