Educator Melissa Bedford is running for Spokane School Board, Director Position 3. Bedford currently works as an assistant professor at Eastern Washington University and has worked as a public school teacher as well as served in institutional leadership positions. Outside of teaching, Bedford volunteers with after-school programs and local organizations like the Spokane Public Library.
Bedford is running to make education more accessible, equitable, and inclusive. She believes that the pandemic highlighted the existing inequities within the state’s school system. If elected, Bedford wants to work to get broadband internet and other technology to all students, to promote the social and emotional health of students, and to make sure that all students feel welcome in the classroom. She has written about teaching civic engagement in the classroom and wants to bring the voice of an educator to the school board.
Bedford is facing several candidates in this race, including Republican Daryl Geffken, a financial advisor and parent of two children in the district. If elected, Geffken would bring conservative values to the school board including supporting the reactionary, Trump-led conspiracy theory about critical race theory. He also opposes same-sex marriage, inclusive classrooms, and multicultural curriculums.
There are five other candidates in this race. Kenneth Cameron is a small business owner who wants to have a voice in the turning point in public education in District 81. Cameron has experience serving on a couple of human and animal rights boards but lacks a notable campaign presence in this race. Jake Leadingham, another challenger, has worked as a tutor. He does not have a working website but aligns with the conservative, conspiracy-driven agenda regarding critical race theory. Karina Hernandez identifies herself as a mother interested in promoting individualized education for Spokane students. She has no campaign website.
The final two candidates, Richard Cangelosi and Andrew Mendez, submitted no information to the Spokane County Voters Guide and have no campaign presence.
In this crowded race, Melissa Bedford is by far the most qualified and progressive choice.