schoolboardOn Oct. 8, Eureka candidates for County Commission, Sheriff, and School Board appeared before the Crescent Valley public for a Candidate’s Night. Editor’s note: Part three of three.

School Board Trustee candidate for Seat 2A, Chuck Bice spoke. Married for 23 years, Bice and his wife have 9 children. Bice worked as a driller and got hired at the Ruby Hill Mine and “for the first time in my life we found a place to settle down to. I know a lot of these faces here. I’ve done some work over here. Have my own little painting business; been doing that pretty steady for about a year. It’s either feast or famine with it: I’m either starving to death or we get to go on vacation; one way or the other. As far as the School Board part of this. A couple of things about me personally. One is I’m a very, very straight-forward and honest person. There’s people in this room that can attest to that fact. I’m very out-spoken. I generally say what’s on my mind, right, wrong or indifferent I stand behind what I say; no ‘if’s ands or buts about it.’ I believe in being fair and honest with just about everybody I come around or meet or have dealings with; and I say ‘just about’ because there’s some people no matter what you do or say it just doesn’t seem to work out to them. And so I’m a very, very strong advocate for children. I believe in sports absolutely 100% but I also believe in having a music program which seems to be one of the things lacking in our schools. My wife was a first-chair clarinet when she was in high school. I only know of one other person that I’ve talked to that’s even done anything like that whatsoever. On the sports side of things: there doesn’t seem to be life after high school for sports. A few children, a few kids, go on to play in junior college, maybe a college or two; but pretty much overall the sports pretty much ends when they get out of high school. Music on the other side, I think, lasts for quite a while. My grandpa was a concert pianist and he played right up until his dying days and he lived to be 87; and so there’s always something for that. As for the rest of the school board items or agendas, I don’t know to be honest a lot about what’s going on in the School Board. I’ve tried to stay out of that. I do know that I’ve had some questions about things: our multi-million dollar gym over in Eureka and I understand there’s plans in the works for one here. I have to take a look at that and see what all’s going on with it.” Bice noted there are difference between him and Robin Hicks even though they are friends and said, “It’s not a hostile in any way match.”

School Board Candidate Robin Hicks related, “To begin, my husband, Bill is a native of Eureka who attended elementary school and then went on to graduate high school. Our three sons, Sam, David and Brandon, followed those same foot-steps. We attribute their education to the teaching and support staff at the school sites. Two years ago our oldest grand-daughter graduated from Eureka High School. Now we have one grandson in the high school and two grandsons in the elementary school. In 1978 for a brief time I worked as the high school secretary. Later in 1986, after the birth of our youngest son, and excited to be more involved in the school system I returned to work for the District as an activities sub-bus driver moving on to educational aide, superintendent board secretary and then retired as the high school secretary in 2012.”

Hicks said, “Serving in the numerous positions within the District, I’ve had an opportunity to be involved in the overall operations. I’ve been involved with curriculum changes and have seen how that can impact our students, teaching staff and administration. In order to maintain high educational standards and provide our students with the best education is not easy if staff members are reduced. I do not support reducing staff members. Just as students plan for their future, the District needs to plan as well: add additional classrooms if necessary, books, computers, new vehicles, buses and the list goes on. We need to provide for all our employees to ensure we attract and retain the best.”

Hicks said, “I understand how test scores can reveal weaker areas in education; however I also understand that not all students test the same. Unfortunately, that is overlooked. We can’t just teach our students to test high and yet ignore what the students need to learn and retain in order to succeed after high school. Not all students learn the same way and often that is overlooked. Not all students are university bound and for those who prefer a trade school we need to provide some of those hands-on skills.” Hicks will support “our excellent administrators who are actively involved in the classrooms to ensure our teaching staff are following the curriculum and educating the students. Our classified staff is equally as important as our teachers and administration. Our secretaries, aides, bus drivers, cooks and maintenance staff ensure the operations of the District. I will make sure they are not overlooked.” Hicks believes open communication with parents “is critical and if there are concerns that are preventing parents from enrolling their child in school this needs to be addressed. School and home has to be in balance.”

Darla Baumann, who arrived late with a soft leg cast on, spoke next. “I apologize for being late. I had a little accident this afternoon” and wasn’t able to get home and get her prepared notes. Baumann has been on the school board for a couple of years and is running for reelection. “I feel that the School Board is a super, super important job. You have the future of students in your hands and from my point of view I want the very, very best for all of our students. I have two young sons in the elementary school and I think education is one of the most important foundations for how they’re going to be prepared for their life in general; for how they’re going to succeed as a person, as a community member, as a professional, as a trades person, whatever they decide to do. The schooling is just that super important foundation. It’s a hard job to be a School Board member but I think it’s such an important job that I’d like to continue on the School Board and continue some of the work we’ve done and also whatever comes up later. There are probably several things in the works and I just would like to continue what we’ve been doing.”