A closer look at the GOP state superintendents' candidates

Who are the four Republicans and public educators who want to succeed Tom Luna as Idaho’s superintendent of public instruction?

Over at Idaho Education News, we tried to answer that question with four in-depth profiles of the candidates on the May 20 GOP ballot.

We gleaned a lot of policy perspectives and personal tidbits. (Click on each candidate’s name to read much more.) To whet your appetite, here’s one important policy point and one interesting sidelight about each candidate:

  • John Eynon: The Cottonwood music and drama teacher doesn’t belong to the Idaho Education Association — but if he’s elected, he’d like the teachers’ unions to lead the charge to replace the Idaho Core Standards. Eynon started as a teacher in southern California, but after voters passed the Proposition 13 property tax initiative, he left the schools for the career security of the U.S. Navy.
  • Andy Grover: The Melba district superintendent says his State Department of Education will look different than Luna’s inner circle; “I will build a team of educators from around the state.” Grover took the Melba superintendent’s job at the dawn of the Great Recession, and had to impose some dramatic changes to keep his district whole.
  • Randy Jensen: He also wants to assemble a team of educators for his staff, and create a department that supports local districts instead of punishing them. The 25-year principal at American Falls’ William Thomas Middle School values relationships; every week, he takes four students to lunch at Pizza Hut, which adds up to 3,000 students over his career.
  • Sherri Ybarra: The Mountain Home administrator favors the Idaho Core Standards, but wants to decrease the student testing burden. She did not vote in November 2012, when Idahoans rejected Propositions 1, 2 and 3 — “as a responsible Republican, I take responsibility for that flaw in judgment” — and says she would have voted against the laws.
  • For additional coverage of the superintendent’s race, click on this link.

    Kevin Richert works for Idaho Education News.