Longtime Neah-Kah-Nie School District board member Terry Kelly will not seek re-election this year, Neah-Kah-Nie School District Superintendent Paul Erlebach announced Tuesday, March 2. Kelly served from 2003-2009 and from 2013 to present, representing Zone 1 (Manzanita). His term ends June 30.
Kelly has been on the school board for 14 years. He and his wife have three children. He wanted to be an active participant in the school district and joined the board while his kids were in school.
“When my youngest graduated last year in 2020, I felt that my mission was complete,” Kelly said. “I thought about staying on because of how long I have been on and some things coming up, but I realized that it was selfish of me to stay on the board and not have any children in the district.”
Kelly said the school board currently has several members who are active parent but with him and Pat Ryan both resigning after their terms ends in June, only one of the board members remaining will have kids in the district.
“I really wanted to step aside and let somebody that was an active parent to have a chance to do what I was able to accomplish for my children,” Kelly said.
Kelly’s favorite part of being on the board was the sense of accomplishment in what was completed over the years. During his time, a brand new middle school was built. The board campaigned for that and had community open meetings. The board got a bond together and passed it.
Other accomplishments included keeping up with technology by giving access to Chromebooks for every student and redoing the track and field project, Kelly added.
The board also attended conventions in Portland, where they would spend three days and meet with other school district board members across the state.
“I will miss the people I have formed bonds with over the years,” Kelly said.
Kelly and his family have lived in the area for over 26 years. Kelly works in the produce department at Manzanita Fresh Foods.
“Being in such a public forum at the produce department, a lot of parents would come to me and express their concerns on which way I should be thinking in regards to this COVID thing,” Kelly said.
Kelly said these interactions also pulled him in the direction to resign.
He said after his term ends, he will “fade into the sunset” and continue to support the Neah-Kah-Nie Pirates. He encourages any parent who lives in Zone 1 – Tohl Road north, Manzanita and Bayside Gardens area – who wants to be heard, to run for the school board.
The filing period opened Feb. 6 and ends March 18 for the May 2021 ballot. Tillamook County has information for filing for a four-year school board position at https://www.co.tillamook.or.us/gov/Clerk/default.htm