Vibbert or McClune will be new face on Eastmont School Board

{child_byline}By Nevonne McDaniels{br}World staff writer{/child_byline}

EAST WENATCHEE — Lyle McClune and Meaghan Vibbert are vying to be one of the new faces on the Eastmont School Board.

They are competing to fill the at-large Position 5 seat that has been held by Steve Piccirillo since 2011. He announced in February he would not seek re-election to a fourth four-year term. It’s one of three board posts voters will decide in the Nov. 5 general election, with mail-in ballots expected to be delivered Oct. 18.

McClune, 52, a physical therapist and co-owner of Biosports Physical Therapy, and Vibbert, 40, the public information officer for the Douglas County PUD, were the top two vote-getters in a three-way race decided in the Aug. 6 primary.

Both candidates have volunteered in the school district — Vibbert has two children still in school while McLune’s three are all Eastmont High School grads. They see serving on the school board as an extension of that volunteer service.

“I bring a positive, collaborative spirit to the table,” Vibbert said. “I am not an education system expert. But I commit to listen, learn and make decisions based on what’s best for our youth and being accountable to our community.”

McClune said he brings perspective as a parent and business owner and, now that his kids have left home, has time to commit.

“I bring unique insight and experience from both the public and private sector to solve the school district’s most pressing problems,” he said.

The Wenatchee World asked the candidates to respond to questions on issues that have been topics of discussion during the past year. Their responses follow.

Wenatchee World: What do you see as the role of technology in education?

Vibbert: It is important, but not the most important. I feel like as a society, kids are growing up faster than necessary. Technology can sometimes hurry that process along, exposing them to non-age appropriate content. Values such as eye contact, hand shakes and being able to have a conversation with a friend are more important. Technology is so intuitive in nature that kids are naturally going to catch on. Let’s teach them good interpersonal skills before we turn them over to screens. Then as they become more skilled in technology, they will be well-rounded, productive members of society. However, moderation is key. Teachers, parents and students can leverage the power of technology to learn, create and communicate.

McClune: First, I believe that technology can support and enhance education but should not replace it. Teachers and teaching are our most valuable resources, not computers, iPads or the internet. Second, technology education should be a part of the curriculum at all levels throughout the district. Third, each incoming high school freshman needs to learn of the post-high school educational opportunities available to them, including technical school, apprenticeships, trade school, college, military training, etc. Then they need to be assisted by their parents, school counselors and teachers to choose the post-graduation path that is best for their success. Finally, there needs to be a curriculum in place to help students achieve that graduation path. In many instances, technical training may be a part, but not the whole, of the students chosen curriculum and pathway.

WW: What do you think is more important and why — improving graduation rates or school security? Improving facilities or test scores?

Vibbert: I don’t think these four worthy goals are mutually exclusive. It could be reasoned that having improved facilities are safer which creates a better learning environment which leads to improved test scores and increased graduation rates. The important thing is to nurture student success, which looks different for each student. This is happening at Eastmont through the relationships and connections being made with students and their parents. If you don’t feel that connection, reach out, get involved and make a plan for success.

McClune: While school safety should always be a top priority, I believe it is more important to improve graduation rates and test scores. Improving school security means preparing for a “what if?” event while improving graduation rates means preparing for a very real event that applies to every student. And, while improving facilities is important and is a worthwhile investment, there are children all over the world, even in first world countries, who don’t have access to the kinds of facilities that our children do, yet their test scores are higher.

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{child_related_content}{child_related_content_item}{child_related_content_style}If You Go{/child_related_content_style}{child_related_content_title}Meaghan Vibbert{/child_related_content_title}{child_related_content_content}

Position seeking: Eastmont School Board, Position 5

Age: 40

City: East Wenatchee

Work history: Public information officer for Douglas County PUD since 2001.

Political or volunteer experience: Wenatchee Central Lions member and past president, Eastmont Foundation member and past president, Cascade Elementary PTO (2018 Volunteer of the Year), Eastmont Baptist Church member and Growth Group leader, Apple Blossom Festival volunteer.

Education: 2001 Washington State University graduate, agricultural communications major, business minor.

Personal: Married to Todd for 17 years; two daughters who attend Eastmont schools; most activities are kid-related sports, music, 4-H; also enjoys spending time outdoors and reading.

{/child_related_content_content}{/child_related_content_item}{child_related_content_item}{child_related_content_style}If You Go{/child_related_content_style}{child_related_content_title}Lyle McClune{/child_related_content_title}{child_related_content_content}

Position seeking: Eastmont School Board, Position 5

Age: 52

City: East Wenatchee

Work history: Physical therapist, co-owner of Biosports Physical Therapy 2004-present; Bodylink Physical Therapy, 2001-2004; Health South Physical Therapy 2000-2001; MVP Physical Therapy 1999-2000; United States Navy, Medical Service Corps, physical therapist 1992-1999.

Political or volunteer experience: Volunteer physical therapist for Wenatchee and Eastmont high school athletics: 2004-present; volunteer Eastmont High School wrestling coach: 2011-present; community exercise instructor: 2004-present; volunteer for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints: administrator, missionary, Sunday School teacher, nursery leader, Young Men’s Organization leader, Secretary: 1986–present

Education: Army Physical Therapy Program/Baylor University 1994; master of Physical Therapy,

Brigham Young University, 1992; Bachelor of Science, exercise science, Tumwater High School, 1985

Personal: Married to AnnaGene (Ellison) McClune for 30 years; three children — Aubryann (McClune) DeMartino, Derek McClune and Landon McClune, all of whom have graduated from Eastmont High School; enjoys being active.

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Nevonne McDaniels: 664-7151

mcdaniels@wenatcheeworld.com