Posts Tagged ‘endorsements’

Morgan White

Nancy Conard

I am not impartial, and I’m not going to pretend to be.

My original plan was to follow the historical path of the newspapers and do interviews with the candidates for the Coupeville School Board, letting them present their ideas and beliefs in (hopefully) straight-forward news stories.

But the more I thought about it, the more I reflected on it, I realized that path wasn’t the path for me.

I am not impartial, and I’m not going to pretend to be.

Of the five candidates for three open positions, one, Sherry Phay, is assured reelection, as she’s running unopposed.

I strongly support and endorse her, not that she needs either my support or endorsement.

Phay has been a strong, vocal addition to the board, someone willing to speak out, step up, and stand tall in the service of making sure Coupeville schoolchildren get the best education possible.

Her continued board membership is a true win for our community, and she, Glenda Merwine and Christine Sears form a solid core as directors.

Venessa Matros and Kathleen Anderson, who are both wrapping up their runs on the board, deserve praise for all they have accomplished, as well.

Both were involved for the right reasons, were deeply-committed, and put community above self in their actions.

Those are traits which have served previous board members of note, from Don Sherman to Brent Stevens and on.

This year’s two contested races, which will be decided in November’s general election — there’s no primary needed in Island County this year — feature two Coupeville grads who would be outstanding additions to the board.

Nancy Conard and Morgan White are immensely-qualified, and would bring passion, persistence, and pride to their positions.

Their opponents, Paul Rempa and Ward Sparacio, respectively, are running, seemingly, for one reason — Island County conservatives are putting a concentrated effort into getting bodies on all three Whidbey school boards.

I’m not going to badmouth the duo in this article, other than to say that in attending a lot of events in Coupeville, I have yet to see either man in person.

Perhaps I need new glasses, perhaps not.

Conard and White, on the other hand, are a frequent presence.

The former, who was the business manager at Coupeville High School for decades, as well as mayor of her hometown, is helping raise her granddaughter, who will be a freshman at CHS this fall.

The latter, an Air Force veteran, has two children who are blazing a path through our schools even as we speak.

Conard and White are at games, they are at school events, they are actively, intimately involved in volunteering.

They are committed, and were so long before the day they filed to run.

Conard followed her Navy father to Coupeville in the early ’50s — she was pushing two-years-old and didn’t have much of a choice — and has remained here for much of her life.

Four years on the town council. Two decades as our mayor — and one of the calmest to ever hold the position.

Whether she agreed with you or not, she always gave everyone a chance to speak their piece at meetings, even when it was the town ass-hat, a low-rent lawyer with a punchable face.

Returning to Coupeville High School after college, Conard worked as a secretary, then assistant to the superintendent at her alma mater.

Promoted to district business manager in 1977, she put in 27 years in charge of accounting, financial reporting, and contract-negotiating.

Her books were impeccable, and Conard became president of the Washington State Association of School Business Officials, the first small-district rep to break through a big-city stranglehold on the job.

I’ve known her for years, dating back through the Videoville and Miriam’s Espresso days, and have always found Nancy to be a straight-shooter.

She’s not afraid of conflict, will hold her ground when she has valid reason to do so, but always, always, operates with a deep love for her town and the people she shares it with.

I am not impartial, and I’m not going to pretend to be. I strongly endorse Conard.

The former Morgan Cannon graduated from CHS 28 years after Conard (1998 vs. 1970), and went on to marry Greg White, son of highly-respected Coupeville principal Rock White.

Her ties to her town and its education system are many, and the roots run deep.

Like Conard before her, White didn’t wait for a school board race to contribute, as she is one of those Wolf moms who is everywhere at once.

In the classroom and out of it, be it the PTA, sports, field trips, or drama club, the small business owner finds time to put in the work and we have a better school system, and community, for it.

Personally, I benefit from her camera work, as White has been gracious enough to allow me to use many of her photos from CMS and CHS sports events.

She’s super-involved and has a deep understanding of what needs to be done to help Coupeville’s schoolchildren reach their full potential.

I am not impartial, and I’m not going to pretend to be. I strongly endorse White.

But it goes beyond endorsing this trio of brilliant women, who will help our school board remain the best of the three on Whidbey.

I am deeply cynical about politicians — a byproduct, possibly, of growing up with a conspiracy-loving father, and a jackass of a grandfather who hated ’em all, Republicans or Democrats, crusty conservatives or bleeding-heart hand-wringers, preaching often about the evils of The Man.

Driving my sister, a political junkie, a bit bonkers, I have refused to vote my entire life.

Well, other than a classroom race for 3rd grade president, where I peeked when we were supposed to be voting with our heads down, then promptly voted AGAINST myself so I would lose by one vote…

But this time around, after a half-century of telling The Man to stuff it, I have actually — the pain, the pain — registered to vote in a real election.

My first votes as an adult will be cast for Sherry Phay, Nancy Conard, and Morgan White to be Coupeville School Board members.

It doesn’t have to be a negative vote — no matter what I may personally think of one incredibly morally-deficient, honor thief, internet troll of a candidate.

I registered to vote, and will do so, for positive reasons, instead.

I believe in these three women, and I think their election would be a huge positive for the school and town that I have chosen to write about.

I am not impartial, and I’m not going to pretend to be.

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