Wednesday, August 10, 2022
Aug. 10, 2022

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Four run for Battle Ground school board Position 1

By , Columbian staff writer

One candidate is a retired educator. Another served in the U.S. Coast Guard. Both say their backgrounds make them fit to serve on the Battle Ground school board.

Devin Scroggins, a retired chief warrant officer who now is a work crew chief for the city of Battle Ground, is one of three challengers to incumbent Mary Snitily for Position 1. Snitily, 72, is a retired Battle Ground educator with prior experience on boards and committees in education. She was appointed to the board in March following longtime board director Monty Anderson’s resignation.

Two other challengers, Chloe Seppala and John Siemssen Sr., did not respond to The Columbian’s inquiry. All four names will appear on the Aug. 3 primary election ballot, and the top two finishers advance to the Nov. 2 general election.

It’s one of two board director positions on the Aug. 3 primary ballot. In Position 3, Ted Champine continues onto the general election after Tori Denfield confirmed to The Columbian she withdrew her name after the filing deadline. Another challenger, Diane Langan, did not respond to The Columbian’s inquiry.

District funding, increasing the high school graduation rate, and money for middle school sports are Scroggins’ top priorities. The district is expected to run its replacement levy again this fall after Battle Ground voters in February failed to pass a three-year levy.

“This means getting the message out to pass the upcoming school levy,” said Scroggins, 57. Roughly 47 percent of voters supported the replacement levy during the special election.

He also stressed pandemic recovery and how the “biggest and most important issue the schools face in the coming years is to reconnect with all of the students that have been lost due to COVID-19 and its restrictions.”

Snitily said the board is connected to serve the community well through transparency, fiscal responsibility and community advocacy. The biggest challenge it faces, she said, is “advocating for local control as state and federal regulations and statutes chip away at the power of school boards to make decisions in line with our community values.” The school board recently sent a letter to state officials urging that face coverings in schools be aligned with masks requirements now in place for the general public.

“We must continue to listen well to the community and partner with parents in their students’ success,” she said.

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