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Kindergarten and first grade students returned to school in late August in Days Creek amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The special election has a full slate of school board candidates throughout the county, and some of the small schools have contested races that will be decided upon by voters on May 18.

Days Creek and Yoncalla voters will see some options for candidates, with two contested elections in Days Creek and one in Yoncalla.

In Glendale, Caroline Lydon and Bill Boal appear on the ballot. However, Boal died last month. His death was reported to the county clerk’s office, but it was too late to remove his name from the ballot.

DAYS CREEKTodd Vaughn and Valerie Anderson will vie for the No. 5 seat, to represent Tiller on the school board. Chelsie Hopkins and Charlie Sawyer are both on the ballot for the No. 7 seat for Days Creek Charter School district board.

Clint Thompson is running unopposed for the No. 3 at-large position and Rebekah Sawyer is running uncontested for the No. 4 at-large position.

Vaughn has lived in Tiller for 36 years and became increasingly involved in political activism six years ago because of his frustration with progressive politics.

“I will be standing firm against curriculums that include ‘Critical Race Theory,’ ‘The 1619 Project,’ and the like,” he said. “I will promote an end to mandatory face masks. I will promote full-time in-person education as well as uninhibited sporting events and extra-curriculars, unless the school experiences a major COVID-outbreak. I will stand against forced vaccinations for COVID-19. I will stand against the practice of transgender males using girls bathrooms and participating in girls sports.”

Vaughn said his conservative Republican views are in line with the majority of the community. He is a logger who graduated from high school in Phoenix, Arizona, and attended Arizona State University for two years.

His opponent, Anderson, is a business owner and controller in construction and agricultural industries with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from the University of North Dakota.

Anderson was appointed to serve on the Days Creek Charter board two years ago.

She did not respond to questions from the News-Review.

Hopkins has been active on several committees and has two children who attend the school.

“I have had a small taste of just how much our school needs help from its community members and so often it’s just the same volunteers helping out,” she said. “I care about the students, their education, and the experiences that a small school like Days Creek Charter has/can provide for them. I value the importance of the ‘old fashioned’ values and teaching methods along with bringing in new technology as our children’s needs change.”

She said the main issue the district is facing is the after-effects of COVID-19, as well as space. What makes the district thrive is the community’s willingness to help and hands-on learning.

“In 5 years I would like to see the school expand with maybe a new cafeteria/gym,” Hopkins said. “I also see a strong Vo Ag program, and a farm to table program maybe “ran” by our elementary to provide nutritious fuel to feed our Learners, Thinkers, and Leaders.”

Charlie Sawyer has been involved in the community through other board positions and is married to Rebekah Sawyer.

He graduated from Bakersfield High School in California. Charlie Sawyer did not respond to questions from The News-Review.

YONCALLATrinity Benito and Della Orcutt are in the running for the No. 2 position in Yoncalla, which will be a two-year term.

Benito was appointed to the position. She earned a high school diploma and a licensed practical nurse certificate from Mineral Area Community College.

Orcutt is an evaluation specialist for the Douglas Education Service District and former special education teacher.

“I want a voice in education in my community,” she said.

Orcutt said she is a big advocate for special education and would like to see Yoncalla make some improvements in the field.

“I have the privilege to work in the schools and we have amazing support for those kids,” Orcutt said, adding the principal is really hands on and every classroom has an instructional assistant to help.

She said the biggest issue the district is facing are not much different from what other districts are facing, listing COVID-19 and its accompanying guidelines, social justice curriculum and class sizes as examples.

Orcutt has a bachelor’s degree in teaching from Eastern Oregon University with a special education endorsement. She also has a master’s degree in school administration from Grand Canyon University.

Neither candidate answered questions from The News-Review.

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

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(1) comment


There's not a chance in Hades that I will vote for that flaming whack job Todd Vaughn. He is a divisive, pompous know nothing. His letter to the editor in this paper are long drawn out ramblings that often make little to no sense. I pray that he has no involvement in the young minds of our community.

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