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Beaulieu to challenge Paul for Post Falls School Board

by Brian Walker
| May 3, 2011 9:00 PM

POST FALLS - Bonnie Beaulieu will challenge incumbent Dave Paul for Zone 3 of the Post Falls School Board during the May 17 election.

Paul, regional director of the USDA's Risk Management Agency, has been on the board for eight years. Zone 3 is on Post Falls' north side and east of McGuire and west of Chase extending to south of the Spokane River.

Beaulieu, a Realtor at Windermere/Coeur d'Alene Realty, said she considers herself a conservative mom and grandmother.

"It seems to me that it was time for a pro-education fiscal conservative to serve on the board, someone who would fight for education reform," said Beaulieu of why she decided to run for the position. "I will promote budgeting conservatively for the taxpayer with increased fiscal accountability so we are not endlessly asking taxpayers for levy increases."

"As a Realtor, I am keenly aware of our local economic situation and I know that fiscal responsibility can lessen the burden on Post Falls families."

Beaulieu said she has visited with parents who have kids in school and would like to see change. She supports education reform that was passed by the Legislature.

"We need merit pay for our good teachers and the ability to remove poor teachers," she said. "Education policy should be made by local school boards, not union bosses in Boise and Washington, D.C. We need to prepare our student for the future by putting technology in the classroom today.

"The trustees should represent all the people of Post Falls, not just the teacher union, so I believe in building board independence by ending the rubber stamp of union agendas."

She said districts need to get back to the basics by focusing on English and math fundamentals.

"There should be a focus on balancing curriculum to ensure our kids are not politically indoctrinated in the classroom," she said.

She also supports bringing renewed discipline and safety to the classrooms.

Beaulieu has lived in Post Falls with husband Roger for five years. Two of her grandchildren have attended Post Falls schools.

She was a secretary for Hewlett Packard in the firm's research and development department and retired after 22 years.

She has served on the Post Falls Food Bank board for three years, as a Post Falls Chamber of Commerce ambassador and is a member of the River City Garden Club.

Paul has lived in Post Falls for 16 years. He and wife Joanne have a child who graduated from Post Falls High in 2009 and another who is a sophomore at the school.

He said he has seeking re-election because he believes the district needs as much experience as possible to implement the new school reform laws.

"Starting this spring, and over the next three or four years, we will need a board that can work with the administration and our teachers to collectively implement significant change as a result of the recent legislative session," he said. "It is not going to be easy, but we need to stay focused and positive and strive to ensure these changes don't have a negative impact in Post Falls."

Paul said he would like to continue to be a part of a district team committed toward fiscal responsibility.

"Even with (cuts), we have been able, for the most part, to protect student achievement and opportunities," he said. "The whole district worked together to do more with less. We have moved forward with our strategic initiatives, especially as they relate to student instruction."

Paul said he likes to think that he has an ability to quietly lead, listen to the pros and cons, understand the issues and build consensus before making decisions.

"I have had a lot of success through the years implementing programs and policy in my professional work," he said. "In addition to running the regional (USDA) office, I am currently the project manager for a large information technology modernization initiative for our agency and I have worked in the public and private sectors."

Paul said the district's recent successes, including passage of the Kootenai Technical Education Campus (KTEC) levy and honors students, staff and schools have received, are indications that the current leadership has the district going in the right direction.

Paul has served on the Post Falls Education Foundation board, Seltice Elementary and River City Middle School PTOs, the district's planning committees, North Idaho Fair and Rodeo Committee, rodeo associations, United Way and the Spokane Federal Executive Association.

Residents must live in the zone to vote. Zone boundaries are posted at www.pfsd.com.