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Monahan, Amos have the qualities St. Helens schools need

There is a crowded field of candidates on the ballot for two up-for-grabs positions on the St. Helens School District board. The candidates are: (Director, Position 2) Melody Killens, Trinity Monahan, Julie A. Farrell and Ray Biggs; and (Director, Position 5) Clayton Lance (withdrew candidacy), Mark Gundersen, Bill Amos and Traci Brumbles (failed to return questionnaire).

Two candidates, however, clearly stand out above the rest this election season, and they are Trinity Monahan and Bill Amos.

Monahan, a probation and parole officer with Columbia County Community Corrections, brings an earnest and impassioned desire to improve the St. Helens School District to his candidacy for Position 2 on the school board. He says he became interested in running for the board after attending several board meetings and witnessing emotional outbursts by some of the board members, and concluding that “decisions were being reached without adequate regard to the entire district.”

Monahan, who has twin 7-year-old girls in the district, delivers well-considered and intelligent responses to questions about the largest issues confronting the district today, ranging from the role of sexuality education and firearms in schools, to the district’s funding outlook and spending priorities. We believe he has an accurate perception of the district and has a clear understanding of how he would approach his role as a board member.

Indeed, Monahan has the most appeal among all the candidates running, and certainly is the best option for Position 2.

On the same note, Bill Amos, who was appointed to the board following the departure of Marshall Porter, has 30 years’ experience as an educator and 39 years’ experience as a businessman, having owned and operated a local construction business. From a policy-making perspective, Amos has served for 23 years on the St. Helens Planning Commission. He has served on executive-selection teams and has participated in contract negotiations.

Like Monahan, he also recognizes a need to remove emotion from the district’s business decisions. He has an extensive understanding of the school district’s history, recognizes the economic challenges confronting the district and community, and would be a great asset for building a coalition of champions to restore the community’s pride in the district. He recognizes past mistakes, is dedicated to correcting them and is committed to the community.

Amos has earned our approval for election to Position 5.

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