School board transparency hot issue for candidates

Three vying for Position 4; forum slated for Aug. 4.

A retired Navy captain, former Bremerton schools security guard and a guidance counselor — three people with different backgrounds, but with one common purpose they’re hoping to fulfill.

The Eggs and Issues forum for the candidates vying for the Bremerton School District Board Position 4 kicks off at 7:30 a.m. Tuesday, Aug. 4 at the Cloverleaf Sports Bar & Grill on Hollis Street.

David Boynton, Cynthia Galloway and Bruce Woolnough will meet to take questions from the public during the Bremerton Area Chamber of Commerce-hosted event.

Woolnough, a retired Navy captain with 25 years of service, said he has a strong background in financial management, training and organizational leadership. He also taught Naval Junior Reserve Officer Training Corps for six years at Bremerton High School and continues to serve as a volunteer on the school district’s Citizen’s Budget Advisory Committee.

The primary responsibility of a school board, according to Woolnough, is to provide a safe learning environment, a challenging academic curriculum and to operate in accordance with local, state and federal law.

“In my opinion, our school board is failing in two out of three categories and is borderline in the third,” Woolnough said. “People throughout the community are getting much more involved and vocal and are sending a loud, clear message that Bremerton can do much better.”

Boynton, a former Bremerton schools security guard, currently operates the Alternatives to Jail program for Bremerton. He is the father of two Bremerton High School grads, a volunteer football coach and said his objective in running for this position is to add transparency to the board.

“I really want to make the school board more open and accessible to the public,” Boynton said. “I believe this school board has spent too much time in executive session making decisions. I understand all those executive sessions were within the rules. However, this is a public school district and the public has a right to have open debate and discussion on major issues.”

Another item Boynton is concerned about is making sure Bremerton students are able to compete in a global economy.

“The time I spent over the last three years working with high school students has me concerned they only work as hard (as needed) to be the best in their classroom or activity,” he said. “What they have to realize is that if you become a car sales person for Ford, Ford doesn’t care if you are the best sales person for Ford, they want you to out sell all the other car makers.”

“The board has done a good job hiring the new superintendent,” Boynton said. “I have not met the man, but all I have heard from teachers and other administrators is that he has the type of qualities a strong leader needs.”

Galloway, the six-year incumbent, is employed by the state as a guidance counselor at the Washington Youth Academy in addition to her duties on the board.

Calls and e-mails to Galloway were not returned.

Residents who are unable to attend the Aug. 4 forum are asked to send any questions they would like answered by the candidates to Answers to those questions will be posted online and in the Aug. 7 edition of the Bremerton Patriot.

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