Five candidates to compete for four school district seats

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Voters in Moffat County will cast their ballots early next month for a new batch of Moffat Cou-nty School District bo-ard members.

Five candidates have come forward for four open seats in districts 1,3,5 and 7.

Candidates Trish Snyder and Leroy North of District 1 are running in the district's only contested race.

A forum Wednesday night sponsored by the Moffat County Education Association will introduce the candidates to the community and district staff.

Trish Snyder, 43, is a mother of four children and a part-time preschool teacher. Synder has been involved in activities at Ridgeview Elementary School and Craig Intermediate School.

Snyder said her family participates in 4-H and Parks and Recreation activities and they belong to the Big Gulch Community Club.

"I am active with my church and volunteer my time on the School Accountability Committee, the Evaluation Review Committee and the Parent Advisory Committee," she said.

Leroy North, 57, works in ground management and equipment repair.

He has been involved in Craig Youth baseball and supports sports activities at the school.

Both candidates said they'd like to see the Dinosaur community successfully start up a charter school. The Moffat County School District closed the Dinosaur school last year. Dinosaur residents wanted to have a school online this year but were denied the request by district leadership because they said the application to start up the school was incomplete. Members of the Dinosaur Charter School Steering committee said they plan to resubmit the application in hopes of starting up the charter school next year.

Some former Moffat County School District students are being bused to a Rangely school.

"I feel it could be a good decision," said North. "It would keep (Dinosaur students) in the community and in the county."

Snyder thought the charter school was a good idea but the plan needs careful oversight.

"I think with proper preparation and time to carry out those plans, the community of Dinosaur should have their own charter school," she said. "As long as they can structure that school and provide an effective, solid education, I think it is a great opportunity for all involved."

School district officials have recently been thinking about the option of holding year-round school in the future.

According to Snyder, the year-round schooling may pose "benefits of the continuity of learning," but she questioned if the option would be feasible in the rural community.

"As a parent, I truly enjoy having my children home with me and like having time off during the summer," she said.

North said he needed to look at all the options for and against year-round school before making a decision.

"In order to make an intelligent decision, I would want to investigate all the facts, both for and against," he said.

In the other open seats Jo Ann Baxter and Andrea Camp are running unopposed in District 5 and 7, respectively. Incumbent Steve Hafey is the lone candidate running in District 3.

Hafey said some issues for new school board candidates would include funding and maintaining quality schools.

As recently retired, Hafey said he would have more time to put toward the position.

"I think we need to continue to attempt to make progreass," he said.

Commenting on his first four-year term with the district, Hafey said, "I don't like to be the first school district to try new things but I don't like to be the last one either.

Amy Hatten can be reached at 824-7031 or ahatten@craigdailypress.com.

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