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Coeur d’Alene School Board election: Terri Seymour versus Tambra Pickford

Coeur d’Alene School District Trustee Terri Seymour considered not running for a second term. She wanted to spend more time with her children.

“It was tough at times when I wasn’t able to attend some of their sports activities because I had a board meeting that lasted for six hours after I’d be at work all day,” Seymour said.

But after long discussions as a family, they decided she should seek re-election.

“I believe I’ve made a difference while serving my term, and I hope that I’ve had an impact on our students,” she said.

Her opponent for the Zone 3 seat on the school board is Tambra Pickford, a parent volunteer who describes herself as “an active and involved mom to our three girls.”

“My passion for our children and educators has inspired me to action,” Pickford said of her decision to run.

“I want to be a part of serving and supporting our children, educators and community beyond the classroom,” she said.

The election is Tuesday. In the other school board seat on the ballot, Casey Morrisroe is unopposed after Trustee Tom Hamilton decided not to run again.

Seymour, 56, is payroll administrator and office manager at the Great Floors corporate office. She is a Kellogg High School graduate and attended North Idaho College. She has three children, including two who attend school in the district, and three grandchildren.

“My girls have shared me with the community and they’ve been wonderful with their support,” she said of her daughters. “They knew I was doing it not only for them but for all children, and I loved it.”

Seymour has spearheaded the district’s anti-bullying task force, and she wants to continue to work on that issue – one of the top priorities in Coeur d’Alene schools.

“I’m passionate that our children never have to be afraid or worry about being bullied at school, on the bus or online,” she said. “I will do everything I can to bring bullying to an end.”

Another goal, she said, is to bring to the attention of the Idaho Legislature and the state Board of Education the concerns of parents who want to be able to exempt their children from statewide testing that is based on the new Common Core educational standards.

“I believe in parents’ rights and am a big supporter of their involvement in their children’s education,” she said. “They should have the choice to be able to ‘opt in’ in any controversial matter. They also should have the choice if they want to ‘opt out” of the (Smarter Balanced Assessment Consortium tests) for whatever their reasons are.”

Seymour estimated she has voted with the board majority about 95 percent of the time. The few times she hasn’t, “we move on and accept the decision of the majority.”

She said she’s effective on the board because “I listen and I care deeply. … I believe in accountability. I’m all about honesty and integrity and very much about transparency. And I’m dedicated, experienced and qualified.”

Pickford, 39, has a bachelor’s degree in education from Fresno State University and experience working with at-risk students. She has volunteered in and outside the schools for 10 years.

“Our teachers today are doing more than just educating our children. Each child that walks into the classroom has their own unique background. They are coming to school with many needs,” Pickford said. “We need to make sure we are supporting and listening to both our students and educators.”

She said she would be an asset to the board because she listens well, is open-minded, considers all information presented, collaborates with others and knows how to develop an action plan.

“I’m proactive and positive. I have a teachable spirit and dedication and willingness to learn and study anything and everything that comes my way,” she said. “I’m about always keeping what’s most important in focus, and that is our children and educators.”

Asked what she hopes to accomplish as a trustee, Pickford said she’d like to explore a student mentoring program involving the business and education communities. Such a program could help kids develop confidence, make connections and experience service-centered and civic responsibilities, she said.

“I like the idea of engaging our parents and community with our schools.”


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