Tom Hamilton, who led a conservative takeover of the Coeur d’Alene School Board four years ago, said Thursday he won’t seek a second term as school trustee.
Hamilton, the director of quality for Ground Force Manufacturing in Post Falls, announced his intention at a midday meeting of the Reagan Republicans, a group that helped put him on the school board in 2011.
“God has a plan for me but it does not involve further service in political office,” Hamilton said.
Terri Seymour, who was elected along with Hamilton, said Thursday she will seek a second term as trustee, representing Zone 3. Seymour is the payroll administrator and office manager for Great Floors in Coeur d’Alene.
Casey Morrisroe, of Hayden, has filed to run for Hamilton’s seat, representing Zone 2. Morrisroe owns Specialty Recreation & Marine in Coeur d’Alene and serves as vice chairman of the district’s long range planning committee and on the Sting Premier Soccer Club board of directors.
Hamilton, Seymour and several appointed board members representing conservative views took control of the school board in 2011 and 2012, with Hamilton as board chairman. They made news with the controversial decision to eliminate the Primary Years Programme at Hayden Meadows Elementary School and the affiliated International Baccalaureate program at Lake City High School.
The May 2013 election swung the board back to the center politically.
Hamilton said he is most proud of his time as chairman.
“I have much to be proud of and very little that I regret,” Hamilton said.
He also spoke of the district’s success in passing a $33 million bond measure to update and replace buildings, launching an anti-bully task force and bringing in the Core Knowledge Program to return to a more “classic education.”
“We challenged the district to look at outsourcing of ‘nonclassroom’ items such as custodial work and transportation as a means of saving money,” Hamilton said. “We held Community Chats to open the door to constituents and allow them free and unfettered access to their elected officials to make sure their voice was heard, even those who did not agree with what we were doing,” he said.
He also spoke of harsh criticism and personal attacks he said he endured over his views.
“For my service to our community, I have been labeled ignorant, homophobic, racist, a pitchfork-wielding barbarian, radical and a moron,” he said. “My family has watched me be attacked and have endured attacks of their own all because I dared to step up and serve. I have seen the ugliest our community has to offer and for what offense? For daring to speak an opinion contrary to their own and willingness to act upon my convictions.”
The candidate filing deadline for the school board positions is 5 p.m. today.
Subscribe to the Morning Review newsletter
Get the day’s top headlines delivered to your inbox every morning by subscribing to our newsletter.