200606-nrr-sugraduation-12 (copy)

South Umpqua High School Principal Carl Simpson welcomes graduates and their families to a modified commencement ceremony for the graduating class of 2020. There are three candidates running for position ... on the South Umpqua school board.

TRI CITY — Voters who live within the boundaries of the South Umpqua School District will get a choice between Jeannie Weakley, Van Roosa and Sharyse Williams for one of the open at-large positions in the May 18 election.

The other at-large position has Jeff Johnson as the lone option. Johnson has been on the school board for 16 years.

Randy Richardson is running unopposed for the Canyonville position and David Stevens is running in Myrtle Creek.

The News-Review sent questionnaires to all candidates in contested races and a request for a photo. Here is what we learned about the candidates:

Jeannie WeakleyWeakly is the incumbent for the position. She did not respond to questions from The News-Review.

She is retired after working 42 years for Roseburg Forest Products.

Weakly graduated from Riddle High School and has an associate degree in business from Umpqua Community College.

Van RoosaRoosa graduated from South Umpqua High School, moved to Roseburg for a while and is now back in the area with a job that allows him to dedicate time to serve on the school board.

“I think my life experiences can help the school district with the challenges it’s facing,” he said.

One of those challenges is bouncing back from COVID-19. Roosa complimented the district on getting kids back in buildings early on, but he is concerned about some of the long-term effects of the pandemic.

He’d also like to see the school district offer more career technical education, such as a small engine class or electrical.

Roose is a salesperson for Airgas. He has a high school diploma and although he took classes to get certificates, never got a college degree.

“I hope to see kids graduate and know that they can go to work or college and that both options are OK,” Roosa said. “It’s not the message that I got when I was in school, but you can make a living without a college degree.”

Sharyse WilliamsWilliams has two sons in the school district and feels the board should be comprised of more parents with children in the schools.

“I have always been very involved with my children’s education and when I found out that a position was coming open I felt it was a good time to run,” Williams said.

She said the biggest issues facing the district are keeping the students in in-person learning and budgeting school repairs.

“I hope to see the district have made many more decisions on school repairs and even new school facilities,” Williams said.

Williams did say that communication between the school and parents was a strength.

Williams is a registered nurse and operations manager who graduated from South Umpqua High School before getting her associate degree at Umpqua Community College.

Sanne Godfrey can be reached at sgodfrey@nrtoday.com or 541-957-4203. Follow her on Twitter @sannegodfrey.

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