Centralia Fireside Guard

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Story Time: Field of Dreams

Posted on Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 11:47 am

By Lorry Myers

I showed up five minutes before the deadline. Even though it appeared to be a hasty decision, I had put considerable thought behind it. I was raising my children in the town where I grew up and felt like I needed to stand up and be counted. I had never run for public office before and now my name would be on the ballot for School Board.

The next morning, Tom Quinn called.

Tom Quinn was our school superintendent. He was a high energy kind of guy, with a take charge attitude and moved like a man on a mission. A few years before, I had been in Tom’s office in an effort to change an outdated school policy. So, Tom was a bit leery of my jump into the world of school politics.

Lorry Myers

Lorry Myers

What was my agenda?

I didn’t know anything about running a campaign so I had door knockers printed and my husband I walked the town handing them out like I had something to sell. After a night of pacing, the votes were in; I had won.

The next morning, Tom Quinn called.

I quickly learned that I need to be schooled about schools. Foundation formulas, teacher tenure, and the art of bussing children. After a visit to Tom’s office, I came home with budgets and balances, rules and regulations. Every week, I came back, asking questions or trying to understand something I was struggling with.

Tom’s door was always open.

I always tried to walk in Tom’s shoes and often they were uncomfortable. A school superintendent is not the most popular person in town. Teacher struggles, parents’ complaints and community judgment is constant.

You either liked Tom or you didn’t and Tom learned to live with that.

Early in my three term stay on the school board, Tom told me he had a dream. Our community was dealing with aging schools and increased class sizes and Tom’s vision of a new school was his solution. The first step to make that a reality would be to identify the perfect place to make his dream come true.

For the complete article, see this week’s edition of the Centralia Fireside Guard.