PCSD 25 administers swearing-in ceremonies for two school board members
Annual board reorganization completed on January 16
The Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25 welcomed a new board member, swore in an incumbent board member, and took action for its annual reorganization at two meetings in January.
Every two years in January, the Board of Trustees seats members elected to the office the previous November. Prior to the start of the work session held on January 9, Board Clerk, Ms. Renae Johnson, administered the oath of office to Mr. Jim Facer (Zone 3) and Mr. Raymond Knoff (Zone 4). The Board welcomed Mr. Knoff as a first time board member. Mr. Knoff is replacing Mr. Paul Vitale, who served as a Trustee for twelve years and did not seek reelection. This will be incumbent Mr. Facer’s third nonconsecutive term serving as a Trustee. Ms. Angie Oliver (Zone 1), Ms. Heather Clarke (Zone 2) and Ms. Deanna Judy (Zone 5), are continuing in their service.
The Trustee Oath states that members “will support the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution and the laws of this State, and that I will faithfully discharge all the duties of the office of Trustee of the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District No. 25, in Bannock County, State of Idaho, according to the best of my ability.”
At the regular Board meeting on January 16, the five-member Board performed its annual task of reorganizing. The Board elected Ms. Deanna Judy to serve as the Board Chair. Mr. Facer is the former Board Chair, a role he served in for the past two years. Angie Oliver was elected as Vice Chair. Heather Clark will continue as the Assistant Clerk. Mr. Knoff will serve as the Assistant Treasurer. Mr. Facer will serve as Member.
The Board of Trustees acts as the governing body of the school district. The Board's legal authority is determined by the State Constitution, statutes of the Legislature, and regulations of the State Board of Education. The Board has the authority to create rules, regulations and policies for the district. The State grants its authority to the Board of Trustees as a whole, not to the individual members.
PCSD 25 Trustees are locally elected public officials entrusted with governing the community’s public schools. Trustees are elected to four-year terms and serve as unpaid volunteer public servants.
Working with the Board’s guidance, the Superintendent of Schools directs the day-to-day administration of the Pocatello/Chubbuck School District 25. Dr. Douglas Howell has served in the role of Superintendent for nine years.
As the newly appointed Board Chair, Ms. Judy plans to engage with the community to better integrate the strength of the community, including encouraging increased parent and teacher advocacy participation, into the work of the Board. She would also like to see active involvement from the Board in the Career Technical Education (CTE) program with the build out of the District’s Portneuf Valley Technical Education and Career Campus (PV-TEC).
Ms. Judy holds a master’s degree in literacy from Idaho State University. She comes from a family of teachers and counselors.
“Education is part of who I am,” she said. “I planned to teach, but decided I needed to serve as a Trustee for the school district at this time.”
While Judy notes that finding ways to work effectively with those with disparate views and goals from her own is one of the most challenging aspects of the job, she hopes to focus on uniting the board, “to make worthy goals and intentionally following through on those goals as a Board.”
Judy said, “The most important aspect of serving as a Trustee is representing what I believe to be the best interest of parents, teachers and students.”
As the newest member of the board, Mr. Knoff said his education and work experience inspired him to run for the school board. As someone who’s background has taught him the value of technical education and different career paths, his goals include being a strong advocate for Career Technical Education (CTE) and the recently opened PV-TEC. He also looks forward to promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education in the district.
He earned a Bachelor of Science and Master of Education degrees in Technology Education from the University of Idaho in Moscow. After finishing his education, he served for ten years as a district-level administrator (Technology Coordinator) for two public school districts, where he designed, built, and maintained their wide-area computer networks.
For decades, Knoff has had a strong interest in helping members of the community who are deaf and hard of hearing. Based on those experiences, he is eager to help the district gain the resources and any additional personnel we might need to help all of our learners who have special educational needs.
Overall, Knoff is looking forward to developing a good working relationship with the other PCSD 25 Trustees, the district administration, the teachers, and the members of the community.
Knoff emphasized that as a school board, “We must solicit and receive input from the public so that we can do our best to respect their parental rights, reflect their community values, and help them to educate their children.”
As the most tenured Trustee in years of service, Jim Facer approached reelection as an opportunity to follow through with the rebuilding of Highland High School and the completion of the PV-TEC project.
“It’s critical that we find a resolution to Highland High School in the very near future,” he said. Facer said that for him, that solution might come in the form of rerunning the bond proposal.
When it comes to serving on the Board, Facer prioritizes “putting the kids first.” In fact, one of his favorite aspects of serving as a Trustee is visiting schools and getting to know learners and teachers.
He said, “I think it’s important for the kids and the teachers to know we are here to serve them. We care.”
With a background in construction, Facer also understands the important role the trades play in Idaho communities.
“I’m really excited to see how the PV-TEC project is progressing with construction to continue to open doors for kids who have interest in those programs like construction, welding, firefighting, EMT, and so many more,” he said.
Mirroring the District’s core value of prioritizing the concept of More Together, from her position as Board Chair, Ms. Judy hopes to be a voice to those who may feel marginalized or ignored.
Judy explained, “David Brooks once said, ‘The core democratic trait that we all have to get a little better at is the trait of seeing each other deeply and being deeply seen. There is one skill at the center of any healthy family, company, classroom, community, university, or nation: the ability to see someone else deeply…and to make them feel heard and understood…,’ and I hope to do just that.”
Dr. Howell said, “We are pleased to welcome Mr. Knoff as our newest member to the Board. I am looking forward to working with Ms. Judy as Board Chair, as well as the entire Board as we work together to address the many challenges and exciting opportunities facing the District in the future.”