Former local educator and Walla Walla School Board Director Terri Trick is running for another term in her Position 2 seat. She has competition from Walla Walla firefighter James Stovall and WSU GEAR UP program coordinator Becky Waggoner-Schwartz.
Trick was appointed to the school board three years ago to fill an empty seat. In 2019, she ran for and won a two-year term. Now, she is running for her first full four-year term.
Trick’s desire to run for school board stemmed from a career in education.
“I missed education and this was a way to get back into it,” Trick said.
Trick was an educator in Walla Walla for more than 30 years. Most of her career was spent teaching pre-college courses at Walla Walla Community College.
She taught pre-college English and pre-college math, bilingual math and English language acquisition at the college. Later, she developed and taught in the school’s GED program.
Trick said her three years on the school board has been a great experience, even with the difficulties caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
With tough choices to be made, such as when to reopen schools, she said she felt these choices were made by a “high functioning” board.
“We make decisions, never quickly, never rushed,” she said. “We always think about them, we always discuss them. They are always well thought out.”
While the board took some criticism for choices made during the pandemic, Trick said she has no regrets over the decisions.
“I don’t,” she said. “It was a hard time and we made hard decisions, but I don’t have regrets over them”
She said one choice that was particularly tough later proved to be the right one. In November 2020, the board was very close to opening schools for its youngest students, despite the district not quite reaching targets. The board ended up deciding not to open.
“We took a lot of flack for that,” Trick said. “But it turned out, had we opened early, we would have had to close right back up because the cases skyrocketed right after the (Thanksgiving) holiday.”
She said opening, just to close again, would have created more problems than it would have solved.
“Parents would have had to come up with another plan for child care all over again,” she said. “It would have kind of been like yanking them here and yanking them there. So I think we tried to error on the side of caution in a good way.”
Trick said she’s also proud of other work the board has done in her three years. She said she’s happy with the Summer Sol program aimed to help children who have fallen behind during the pandemic to catch up.
Trick grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah, and graduated with a bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish from the University of Utah. She earned her master’s degree in teaching at Washington State university.