For the first time this primary election season, three candidates for state superintendent of public instruction will participate in a question-and-answer forum to share their ideas with Idaho voters.
Idaho Education News and partners Center for School Improvement and Policy Studies at Boise State University and Boise State Public Radio are hosting the forum to be held at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, at BSU’s Special Events Center adjacent to the Student Union Building on 1910 W. University Drive.
The event is free and open to the public. Parking is available across University Drive in the Lincoln Garage.
Idaho Education News invited the four candidates for state superintendent of public instruction. Republican Jeff Dillon and Democrats Cindy Wilson and Allen Humble have committed to participate.
Incumbent Sherri Ybarra said she is unavailable because she will be in Fort Hall for the State Department of Education’s annual post-legislative tour. Idaho Education News offered to change the forum to another date in April but Ybarra’s campaign point of contact, CheRee Eveland, would not provide another option and said “the superintendent’s work schedule remains the same as when you contacted her in January.”
Idaho Education News senior reporter Kevin Richert will moderate the 75-minute forum. Each candidate will have the opportunity to answer at least nine questions on a variety of topics, including school safety, teacher pay and retention and accountability.
Three panelists will question the candidates: Boise School District teacher Loren Bailly, West Ada high school student Zac Crandell and Idaho Education News reporter Clark Corbin. We will also consider questions from the audience and Facebook followers.
The Idaho primary is May 15. For more election news, go to the Idaho Education News election page.
The superintendent of public instruction is responsible for educating 300,000 Idaho students and $1.8 billion in taxpayer dollars. The superintendent has a staff of about 130 and sits on the State Board of Education and the state Land Board.
About the moderator and the panelists
Kevin Richert has more than 30 years’ experience in Idaho journalism, as a reporter, editor, columnist and blogger. He has covered all levels of government, from Congress to the Legislature to city and county politics. He has specialized in education and legislative coverage since January 2013, when he joined Idaho Education News at its launch. A native of Long Island, N.Y., Richert has a bachelor’s degree in journalism from Northwestern University and a master’s degree in public administration from Boise State. He is a recent recipient of a reporting fellowship from the Education Writers Association in Washington, D.C.
Loren Bailly Grew up in Boise and has been teaching for 11 years at Taft Elementary with the Boise School District. She graduated from the University of Idaho and earned a master’s in educational leadership from Boise State University. She facilitates her building’s “Problem Solving Intervention Team” and she serves in other leadership roles, including mentorship. In December, she became a certified poverty coach from the Dr. Donna Beegle Poverty Institute and she conducts professional development sessions through the district. She’s also a wife and mother of two boys (ages 3 and 5) and they enjoy camping and spending time with friends and family.
Zac Crandell is a senior at Eagle High School and he plans to attend the University of Idaho to pursue a degree in pre-medicine. He wants to go to medical school and specialize in the study of radiology. He competes for Eagle’s swim team.
Clark Corbin has covered Idaho government and politics for 10 years, and specialized in education reporting for the past five years. Based in Boise, Corbin contributes to Idaho Education News’ daily coverage of the Legislature and state government. He has previously served as a panelist for congressional and superintendent of public instruction debates and candidate forums in Idaho. A Kansas City native, Corbin began his career in print newspapers before joining Idaho EdNews in January 2013.