MONUMENT – Voters in the Monument and Long Creek school districts also will fill board positions in the May 17 election. Ballots were mailed out last Friday.

Although four positions are open for Monument School District 3, only two candidates filed: Chad Engle for Position 3, and Carrie Jewell, at-large.

In Long Creek School District 17, there are four seats open – and four candidates filed.

Monument

• Chad Engle was appointed to the board in February 2010. In the logging and construction business, he is married and has two stepchildren who attend the school.

Engle is a graduate of Monument High School. After being away from the area for 18 years, he returned five years ago.

His work schedule sometimes makes it a challenge to attend meetings, but being on the school board is a way he can serve the community, he said. Engle said he’d never been on a board before, and the work is interesting and important.

He wishes others would step up and get involved, as well.

• Carrie Jewell, also was raised in the Monument area; she graduated from Monument High School in 1986. After leaving the area, and becoming a certified veterinary assistant, she returned in 1991.

About two years ago she was appointed to the school board, and held that post for six months. She’s chosen to run for a seat now, because she feels there should be diversity on the board.

Jewell also is the treasurer of the Monument Soil and Water Conservation District board. She’s been an EMT on the Monument Volunteer Ambulance since 1998.

Jewell and her husband raise cattle and horses on a ranch between Kimberly and Monument. They have two children in high school.

Long Creek

Long Creek School District No. 17 has four positions, each with a candidate who has filed: Leslie Barnett, Beverly Johns, Mark Manning and Linda “Cindy” Wilburn.

• Leslie Barnett is seeking a third term on the board.

“Besides wanting to be active and contribute to the community, I care about our little school and seeing the students get the best possible education in this rural environment. We have an excellent superintendent, and a hard-working staff and a board of great people who all want to contribute to the success of our school,” she said.

Barnett, her husband and daughter moved to Long Creek in August 2003. They own and operate Long Creek Lodge.

Out of high school, Barnett went to work for the telephone industry in Portland, and spent 30 years working in the yellow pages (directory) department of what eventually became Qwest. She retired in 2000 when her department was dissolved.

Barnett is secretary of the Long Creek School Booster Club, active in her church, and a precinct committeeperson for North Grant County. She has also recently become involved in an open forum of concerned citizens who are looking at ways to improve the Long Creek community.

• Beverly Johns has lived in Long Creek for 27 years, and is retired, having served as treasurer-recorder for the town of Long Creek 12 years.

This is the second marriage for both Johns, and her husband, Eldon. She brought five, and he  six children to their union. Together, they have 25 grandchildren and 30 great-grandchildren.

Johns has already served four years on the school board, and wants to be elected again, because of its importance to the community. 

“I want to save our school. An earlier school board was interested in closing our school down. It’s the hub of our community. If it closed, our community would die. I want to work to keep it open,” Johns said.

•  Mark Manning, who would be new to the board, offers himself as “new blood.”

He and his wife Tammy have four children, three of them still at Long Creek School. 

“Children’s education is very important to me,” he said. “I have attended several meetings, and I think it would benefit to have a parent’s perspective on the board.”

Manning has coached middle school flag football in Long Creek. The family has also hosted foreign exchange students, and have shared their home so far, with students from Brazil, Germany, Thailand, Taiwan and France.

“We also really like the community of Long Creek. With our youngest daughter an 8-year-old, we’ve planted roots here. We want our daughter to graduate from Long Creek School. We need to manage and maintain it well, and I’d like to have a part in that.”

The Mannings have lived in Long Creek for six years. Mark brought along his trucking-distribution business of 25 years. It spans the area between Cle Elum, Wash. to Moscow, Idaho to Baker City. The family also grows pigs, and Tammy runs the feed store in town.

• Linda “Cindy” Wilburn is seeking a second four-year term. She’s been board chair for the past two years.

Wilburn said she got on the board when there was talk about closing the school and consolidating it with another. She was strongly opposed.

“The school is the community, especially in the town the size of Long Creek. It is so important to have it, and that it also be a good, quality school. Fortunately, we’ve been able to keep it going,” Wilburn said.

She holds a degree in home economics, with a minor in biology, and formerly taught the subject. Wilburn and her husband Andy have lived in the Long Creek School District for 38 years, where they operate a ranch and a real estate business. Their two children attended Long Creek School, and now their two grandchildren do.

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