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May election will shake up area school boards

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Both the Greater Albany Public Schools and Corvallis School District boards will look different after the upcoming election.

The upcoming race for three open GAPS board seats will feature a former board member, a teacher and a Linn County commissioner.

Public filings show eight people running for Albany’s school board in the May 18 election. Current members Kim Butzner, Justin Roach and Jennifer Ward did not file to run once their term expires on June 30 of this year.

Linn County Commissioner Roger Nyquist has filed, throwing his hat into the ring for Butzner’s Zone 2 seat. He will compete against Valley Health Acupuncture owner Willard Sheppy.

Vying for Ward’s Zone 1 seat is former GAPS school board member Frank Bricker, who served for more than 20 years before stepping aside in 2018. He will run against office manager Clarice Law and small business owner Brad Wilson.

Philomath School District employee Denee Newton-Vasquez will face attorney Alison Ecker and dentist Pete Morse for an at-large position on the board.

In Corvallis, three of the four board members up for reelection have filed to run. Jay Conroy in Position 5 has not filed.

Luhui Whitebear, who was appointed in 2019, will be running to switch seats with current member Vincent Adams. The switch, Adams said, was to account for the current term length assigned for each position. Position 4 comes with a four year term while Position 6 is a two year term. 

Adams, currently in Position 4, will run for Position 6. And Whitebear, currently in Position 6, will run for Position 4. Both will face opposition to stay on the board: Trust manager Richard Arnold has filed for Position 4, and in Position 6, financial planner Timothy Euhus has filed.

Sami Al-Abdrabbuh will run to retain his Position 1 spot against family physician Bryce Cleary. 

Position 5 has a three-way race between OSU assistant professor Shauna Tominey, counselor Rachelle Spindler and elementary school teacher Ginger Schudel Larcom.

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