A perspective from Oregon’s mid-Willamette Valley

Expect three new faces on GAPS board

Written March 21st, 2021 by Hasso Hering

On rides last week and again Sunday, this was the only campaign sign for Albany School Board I had seen. It reminded me that the filing deadline for the May 18 elections was last Thursday, and it led to a surprise.

The surprise — at least to me who doesn’t follow school board developments with the attention they deserve — was this: Come July a majority of the board of Greater Albany Public Schools will be replaced.

July 1 is when new four-year terms on the school board begin. And according to the filings as recorded by the Benton County elections office, three of the five board positions will have new members.

Three present board members, Jennifer Ward in Zone 1, Kim Butzner in Zone 2, and recently appointed Justin Roach in the No. 2 at-large position, did not file as candidates for the board of directors.

In Zone 1, the three candidates are Frank Bricker (a former long-time GAPS director), Brad Wilson, and Clarice Law.

In Zone 2, the candidates are Roger Nyquist, chairman of the Linn County Board of Commissioners, and Willard Sheppy.

And for the at-large position, the candidates are Alison Ecker, Pete J. Morse, and Denee Newton-Vasquez.

It was Morse’s campaign sign I spotted at the corner of 11th Avenue and Walnut Street. It refers to him as Dr. Pete Morse. I gather he’s the dentist whose office is on Elm Street

Other than Bricker and Nyquist, I’ve never heard of the others. Benton County did not post the campaign filings of the GAPS candidates, referring people to the Linn County elections office instead. Unfortunately, the Linn County clerk’s website doesn’t show candidates at all, let alone their filing papers.

Maybe the candidates will campaign and let the voting public know what they want to accomplish on the board. And maybe not. Either way, three of them will take office in July. (hh)

4 responses to “Expect three new faces on GAPS board”

  1. thomas earl cordier says:

    School Board manipulation ? Three current GAPS School Board members: Ward, Roach and Butzner did not file for re-election by 18March. Their term of office expires 30June this year. Current Board members want to reward Supt Goff by renewing her contract NOW which is 15 months before her contract expires. IF the current Board renews Goff’s contract before the May election; the new Board members elected in May will be compromised. in their ability to provide proper oversight of Supt. Goff .
    The new School Board to be elected in May should be given the authority to work w/Goff for a full year before THEY decide whether she is fit to be offered a contract renewal.

  2. H. R. Richner says:

    Just make sure that they, too, check with the teachers’ union before they adopt any changes, right?

  3. Pete Morse says:

    I wanted people to be aware if they wanted to know more about me and the reasons I am running for school board, please visit my campaign site at peteforgaps.com.

  4. Denee Newton says:

    Thank you for this article. I am Denee Newton-Vasquez, and am one of the candidates running for GAPS school board (At Large #2). I taught English and AVID at South Albany, and was there for 9 years before I got the head coaching job for Volleyball in Philomath School District four years ago. My kids are in elementary school here in Albany, I love our community, and I feel moved to be a part of the school board so I can fight for our kids.

    As a teacher, a parent, and community member here I am committed to our schools and our kids and will serve them with best intentions, knowing my experience as an educator will give me unique insight as to the needs of our students, I felt called to run. Please consider joining our group on facebook to find out more. Denee Newton-Vasquez for Greater Albany School Board.


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