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Mike Shepherd: Bremerton students are top priority
Editor’s note: This is the last of a five-part series looking at the candidates running for mayor of Bremerton.
Mike Shepherd is convinced lack of outside mentorship is giving Bremerton schools a bad rap.
“A considerable number of our kids start in the Bremerton School District and then really don’t achieve full success,” he said. “And it’s not in the school where that is happening. We have a great school, great teachers and the school board is doing exactly what they need to do. That’s not where the issue is. The issue is that there is not enough adult mentorship outside of the school.”
Shepherd, who is making a run for the Bremerton mayor position, said his Bremerton roots extend back to 1908, when his great-grandfather settled here. He is father to six children and also has three grandsons.
He and his fiancée, Susan, are avid runners and in training for their next marathon. This summer, the two will compete in the Senior Games.
“I am representing Washington in the national senior games in August,” he said. “I will be running in the 1500-meter and the 800-meter and I’ll be doing the javelin too.”
Shepherd said he has been in public service of one form or another for most of his career, beginning with his naval service 1971-79. He first served in Vietnam and then in Alaska doing Sea Search and Rescue. He was trained as an electrical and nuclear engineer during his time in the service.
After leaving the Navy, he worked as a residential and commercial remodeling contractor in Eugene, Ore., moved to the San Diego area to oversee dockside utilities operations with the Public Works Department for the Department of the Navy and then took a job at the Trident Refit Facility at Naval Base Kitsap-Bangor.
After helping to organize several community projects, including the formation of the Evergreen Park Association, Shepherd said he was encouraged by his neighbors to run for city council.
He was first elected to the council in 1997 and re-elected for two additional four-year terms.
Shepherd said he is glad people are getting involved in the mayor’s race, but he is not happy with candidates putting off joining the race for so long.
“It is a little dismaying to see people waiting until the last minute and not really having done the ground work,” he said. “Because there’s a lot of work in being mayor. It is a serious job, a very serious job, and I’d like to believe that the folks are very serious about doing it and that there is a level of commitment.”