I should start this letter with a disclaimer that it can’t really be considered unbiased. I have had the privilege of being married to Deb Parnham for nearly 30 years, and in that time, I think that I have gotten to know her pretty well.
I watched a dedicated teacher who loved and cared for her students so deeply that it shaped who she was as a person. Throughout her 36 years at Washington Elementary in Centralia, she was consistently working on her craft, on how to reach even the most difficult of students. She coached the Centralia High School cheerleaders for 10 years and built relationships with those young women that still endure with them today nearly 15 years later. There is hardly a time when we are out in public that we don’t run into one of her former students, cheerleaders or colleagues that ends up as some kind of joyous reunion.
Her loyalty and devotion as a spouse are unquestioned. After I took a job as a traveling construction superintendent, she took a leave of absence to be on the journey with me that ultimately culminated in her retirement from the district as she followed and supported me all over the Northwest as I pursued my career goals. Immediately upon our return to Centralia three years ago, Deb began her new journey in substitute teaching in which she became in high demand, with the regular teachers requesting that she be the one to watch over their classes in their absence. To me this is the highest compliment: to have the trust of your peers.
In the late spring, Deb asked me about running for the upcoming opening on the Centralia School Board. My first question was: why? Her answer was quick and sure: “The Centralia School system is in a tough spot after the levy failures and I want to be a part of regaining the trust of the district’s patrons.”
She knew it was going to be hard, she knew the challenges were going to be tall and she knew there was nothing to personally gain from it, but she was all in. Since that day, she has been meeting with parents, community members, teachers, principals and district administrators asking how to swing the pendulum in the right direction. She has been attending the board meetings in person, taking on the toughest skeptics on social media with grace, and listening to everyone who has a stake in the district.
I do not know much about Deb’s opponent other than what is on the internet but I do know Deb Parnham as well as I know my own name. Her experience, passion, loyalty, integrity, work ethic and deep-seated love for the Centralia School District makes her the right choice to be a part of leading the district to excellence. So, friends and neighbors, I ask you to join me in voting for Deb Parnham for Centralia School district.
She is the right choice.