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Citizen committee recruits candidates

A citizen committee dedicated to finding candidates for open seats on the St. Helens School Board has succeeded.

Nine different candidates, including two incumbents, are running for three director positions in the upcoming May 21 election.

“The last few elections, we haven’t had many choices,” said committee member and St. Helens High School math teacher Roger Patterson. “Now we do.”

He said the committee is not unhappy with the current board. Instead, he emphasized that the committee members believe change is good. The school district could benefit from an infusion of new perspectives and new ideas, he said.

Concerned Citizens for Better Schools will host a forum April 25 at 7 p.m. in the Loo Wit Room at St. Helens High School.

Each candidate will be given time to tell the audience about him or herself and say why he or she is running. This will be followed by three questions and closing remarks.

The Concerned Citizens for Better Schools committee is very small currently, comprised of a couple of school district teachers and classified staff and one community member. It was formed with the objective of finding people interested in being school board candidates, Patterson said.

For the Position 1 seat, Matt Freeman is running for re-election against Kellie Smith and Charles Briggs. Position 3 is open after Director Nathan Helwig decided not to run again. Shannon Kline, Jeff Howell and Traci Brumbles will be vying for that position. In Position 4, incumbent Alan King faces contenders Gordon Jarman and Melissa Dueck.

Following the May 21 election, the directors will begin their new terms on July 1.