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News >  K-12 education

Mental health professional will face incumbent for Cheney School Board seat in November

Aug. 3, 2021 Updated Tue., Aug. 3, 2021 at 10:33 p.m.

Susan Dolle, Chad Smith and Zachary Zorrozua are candidates for the Cheney School Board.
Susan Dolle, Chad Smith and Zachary Zorrozua are candidates for the Cheney School Board.
By Jordan Tolley-Turner The Spokesman-Review

A political newcomer will face a 12-year incumbent in a November race for the Cheney School Board.

Zachary Zorrozua finished first in Tuesday’s three-person primary for the seat with 45.3% of the votes.

Incumbent Suzanne G. Dolle came in second with 34.6% of the votes, enough to move forward to November’s ballot.

Zorrozua has nearly 20 years of experience working in social work and mental health. He believes that the district needs to support struggling students more, that a new high school is necessary and that expectations need to be raised concerning the COVID-19 pandemic as well as the district as a whole.

“I’m really hopeful about what’s to come, continuing to get the message out of what I want our school district to be as it evolves and grows,” Zorrozua said following the results. “I’m hopeful that I will do even better next time, get more votes, meet more people and get to share my thoughts and goals for our district.”

Dolle has never been in a primary ballot despite serving three terms, previously facing only one or no other candidates. Dolle said her experience gives her a key insight. One of her biggest priorities is making up for time lost during the COVID-19 pandemic.

“I’m glad I made it to the general election. I’m hoping to pick up more votes in the general election and I hope we had a higher voter turnout than we had in the primary,” Dolle said. “I’m glad I made it thus far and I would like to continue my work with the Cheney School District.”

Chad Smith finished third with 18.9%. Smith is a former Cheney High School assistant basketball coach who resigned after he was put on administrative leave by the district in January 2020 due to allegations of verbal mistreatment of players. Smith’s primary concerns were also related to COVID-19, saying that he wanted to prioritize getting students caught up and making sure they are not behind. When asked about his loss, Smith said, “Either way, it’s all about taking care of the kids, and anyone who wins will be able to do that.”

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