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Extra Credit

Q&A: Cheney School board candidate Henry C. Browne

Cheney School District 3

Henry C. Browne, Jr.

Age: 55 

Notable experience: Browne has served on the board since he was appointed in December of 2012. He’s worked for the Washington State Department of Corrections for more than 15 years. He’s also an assistant pastor and an adjunct instructor at Park University at Fairchild Air Force Base.

Education: Graduated from the College of West Africa in 1976. Earned bachelor degrees from the University of Liberia and a masters of accounting from the University of Phoenix.

Cheney School District 3 candidate Henry C. Browne.
Cheney School District 3 candidate Henry C. Browne.

With two bonds failing this year how do you propose paying for some of the infrastructural/space upgrades the district needs?

I am hopeful that as a long term solution the state begins to fulfil its constitutional mandate to amply fund basic education. This of course includes adequate infrastructure needs. Until that happens, our most viable alternative is to borrow money by selling bonds. We will need to do a much better job of engaging our constituents and listening to their ideas for possible solutions. Unfortunately, the infrastructure problems will not go away and will only get worse as our district enrollment continues to increase.

What is the most pressing issue facing the district?

Without a doubt I will have to say infrastructure. The high school is already very overcrowded and in need of major upgrades. There are also needs at the elementary and middle school levels, although at this time those are not as pressing as the high school needs.

Do you think the Cheney school district should continue to offer high school football, given both the cost and the danger of concussions?

As a parent with children currently in the district who play multiple sports, my personal opinion is that the football program is a valuable part of the overall educational experience. I think it would be unfortunate to discontinue any activity which encourages our children to be actively involved with fitness and physical training; at the same time we are encouraging them to do just that. With the recent studies done on the relationship between football and head injuries, more emphasis has been placed on education, equipment, and rule changes intended to minimize the risks involved.

Do you support the sex education curriculum currently taught in the district ?  Why or why not ?

As a board member I need to have trust in the professional educators to design and deliver curricula that are both accurate and relevant. As such, I am not aware if all the details of the sex education curriculum. As a parent, it is my responsibility to teach and train my children and allow them to think and reason for themselves.

Are there any books currently in libraries within the district or on class reading lists that you feel are not appropriate to be used in schools ?

I am not aware of any books in libraries or on class reading lists that I would consider inappropriate to be used in schools. Again, it is the parent's responsibility to train and teach their children to make proper choices.

Should evolution be taught in public schools ?

My personal opinion on the teaching of evolution is that it should be taught as only one of several possible theories for the origin of man. As a born again Christian, I subscribe to the belief that I was created in the image of God just like it says in the Bible.

If you could change one thing about the district what would it be and why?

I think we have a very well run district and I am proud to be part of it. The one thing I would change if I could would be the minds of at least 60% of our patrons so we can pass the needed bond(s) to fund our infrastructure needs.

Who was your favorite teacher? When and why?

If I had to pick one I would say John Rudin. Mr. Rudin was my high school language arts teacher. He deserves a lot of credit for instilling in me a love and appreciation for literature as well as a well-rounded vocabulary. We had to learn twenty words a week, including pronunciation, definitions and using them in sentences.

Favorite recess game in elementary school?

I would have to say soccer, with kickball coming in a close second.

Fondest high school memory?


*Editor's note: Browne's opponent, Patrick Rushing, didn't respond to multiple interview requests. 

Eli Francovich
Eli Francovich joined the Spokesman Review in 2015. He currently is the Outdoors reporter for the SR.

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