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Meyer, Veloz advance to General Election in race for Grandview School Board seat

GRANDVIEW - Mark A. Meyer and Karen Veloz will be moving on to the General Election, in the race for the Director #2, Grandview School Board seat.

Both candidates advance from yesterday's Primary Election, in which they faced Libby T. Martinez, who pulled just 20.5 percent of the votes from the patrons of the Grandview School District. Meyer was the leading vote-getter, garnering 46.2 percent of the 1,164 total votes cast. Veloz snagged 32.8 percent of the votes, which sets up a fairly tight General Election race between the two, considering neither gained a majority of the Primary Election votes.

Interestingly enough, the school director's seat the three candidates were vying for drew no takers during the regular filing session in late July. A special filing session was held in August, in which all three tendered their names for consideration by the Grandview voters.

The school board seat is now held by long-time director Kirk Michels, who opted not to seek re-election this fall.

Meyer, who drew 538 votes in yesterday's Primary Election, works as an inventory specialist at the Grandview Bleyhl Farm Service store. In seeking to replace Michels on the school board, Meyer said he has some concerns with the education his daughter is receiving at Grandview's middle school. He said similar sentiments from others in the community persuaded him to seek the school board seat, in hopes of evoking some sort of change district-wide.

Specifically, Meyer believes Grandview's schools need to present more challenging curriculum to the local students.

He has also cited a concern with gang violence in the schools, and has indicated that the school district's dress code needs to be addressed.

A former resident of Sunnyside, Meyer moved to Grandview nine years ago. If elected, Meyer has said he will be open to comments from all community members.

Veloz, who received 382 votes in the Primary Election totals released late last night, has a long history in the field of education. She has been employed as a teacher for 18 years, currently working as an educator for the Sunnyside School District's SEEK program, which is aimed at challenging "gifted" students in Pioneer, Outlook and Washington elementary school classrooms.

The long-time educator sees teamwork as the key to running successful schools in Grandview.

"Parents, the schools and the community need to work together as a team," she said shortly after filing for the soon-to-be open school board seat.

Veloz said there are currently many demands being placed on the schools, most notably the WASL examination. She said Grandview's schools are heading in the right direction in terms of meeting the demands being placed on educators.

Veloz does note that she would like the Grandview School District to provide more opportunities for students, by offering more programs.

"I can assist the school district. I do bring that understanding," she said.

Martinez, eliminated from the three-person race yesterday with only 239 votes, had said in late August that she was concerned with rumors that some parents were taking their children out of the Grandview School District to attend neighboring schools. In vying for the school board seat, Martinez - a registered nurse employed by the Yakima Valley Farmworkers Clinic - said she wanted Grandview's after-school programs bolstered. She had encouraged Grandview voters to support her because she wanted to be a voice for "everyday" people.

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