MEDFORD, Ore. — Candidates were vying for three positions on the Medford School Board for the Special Election. Initial results show Larry Nicholson leading for Position 1, and incumbents Jeff Thomas and Tricia Prendergast leading for Positions 2 and 3.
Medford’s superintendent, Phil Long, says the elections show the community is still invested in the school district. Long has been superintendent in Medford for 8 years and during that time, he has seen school board members come and go in a number of elections. He says there is always a transitional period afterward, when the board members adjust to the realities of the job, and district officials adjust to the priorities of the new board.
Long says it shows community involvement when topics like the economy or budget issues come to the forefront. Candidates are inspired to step up and the public gets a chance to decide the direction of the school district.
“We have an opportunity when people have an interest in what’s going on or maybe a specific issue or a direction the district’s going, to throw their name in the hat,” Long explains. “And it leads to that local community discussion.
The school board also makes decisions about the superintendent. Earlier this year the board chose to wait on making a decision about whether to renew Phil Long’s contract.
Dr. Long says because the members of the school board are technically his bosses, he did not want to comment on the results of this election.