4J School Board Candidate Debate

A good school board can have a significant, positive impact on the education and future of the children in our community. Get the candidate information you need in order to effectively participate in the May elections. Your voice in the local education decision-making process matters.

Thursday, April 30th, 6:30-8:30pm Hilyard Community Center, 2580 Hilyard St


6:30-7:00pm – Casual reception featuring light refreshments

7:00-8:30pm – Opening statements, candidate and audience questions

8:30-9:00pm – Open discussion

The debate will be introduced by Mayor Kitty Piercy and moderated by Rick Levin from the Eugene Weekly. It will give the candidates a chance to state their views and viewers a chance to directly compare the candidates and their positions. Questions will be prepared in advance and also collected from the audience on the night of the event. Send your questions for the candidates to Heather Sielicki at sielicki@gmail.com.

Participating Candidates   – Director Position 5, 4 Year Term

  • Jim Torrey
  • Kevin C Cronin
  • David Nickles

The seven-member 4J Board of Directors, which is the policy making body of the school district, derives its legal authority from the statutes of the State of Oregon. The board selects the superintendent as the district’s executive officer and delegates the responsibility for implementing its policies and plans to the superintendent. The board also has the annual responsibility of adopting a balanced school district budget. The Board sets general policy direction for the District, and oversees new curriculum adoption and school closures.

Four seats of the seven seats on the Eugene School District Board of Directors are up for election on May 19, 2015. Position 1, incumbent Alicia Hays, Position 5, incumbent Jim Torrey and Position 7 , incumbent Mary Walston, are running for re-election. In Position 4, the incumbent, Craig Smith, is not running for re-election.

Smith was the only incumbent who did not file to seek re-election: John Baumann, Scott Landgreen and Eileen Nittler are running for the open seat. Torrey faces challengers Kevin Cronin and David Nickles, while Walston faces Colin Farnsworth in her re-election bid. Hays is running for re-election unopposed.

Board members are elected from the district at large to serve four-year terms. Board elections occur in May of each odd numbered year. Board members serve without pay. The term of office for board members begins on July 1 immediately following the election.

Why aren’t all of the candidates participating?

In the interest of fairness and balance, we have not included contested positions 4 and 7 in this debate because schedule conflicts prohibited all candidates from participating.


This debate is sponsored by Southeast Neighbors, Southwest Hills Neighborhood Association ( SHiNA) (formerly Crest Drive), and other volunteers from the Eugene Neighborhood Association program. The moderator for this event will be Rick Levin from the Eugene Weekly.The debate will take place in the Hilyard Community Center located in south Eugene across the parking lot from Amazon Pool. Hilyard Community Center houses the City of Eugene’s Adaptive Recreation Program and was designed for maximum accessibility including: wheelchair accessible bathrooms, FM loop systems, large raised print signs and easy access to the outdoors. Maximum capacity for this space is 125.