Olympia school district: Barclift, Gentry-Meltzer make cut

OLYMPIA - Olympia School District voters will decide between an incumbent who has eight years of experience and a newcomer who promises to bring fresh ideas when they receive ballots for the Nov. 6 general election.

That will be the choice in the Olympia School Board's District 4 race between incumbent Carolyn Barclift, 49, and newcomer Lucy Gentry-Meltzer, 50.

Gentry-Meltzer said she wants to make sure the board doesn't pass another district budget without a strategic plan that outlines priorities. She said her other top issues include giving students more chances to learn about the environment and making sure Olympia schools are safe.

"One of the things I've heard from parents is that when kids are unhappy, they're not learning," said Gentry-Meltzer, who added that she would press for more educational programs on bullying and diversity.

Gentry-Meltzer is a freelance theater designer and educator with two children in Olympia schools.

Barclift did not return phone calls Tuesday seeking comment.

Her campaign co-chairman, Mike Boring, said he thought Barclift's top priorities would be making sure that the school board does all it can to improve student achievement and does not cut programs that would affect academics.

"There will be some attention to how funds are distributed to best support the program they've got without cutting into the actual classroom and actual educational program," he said.

Barclift is an Olympia police officer with three adult children, the youngest of whom graduated this spring from Capital High School.

Tom Hill placed a distant third in the race.

Heather Woodward covers education for The Olympian. She can be reached at 360-754-4225 or hwoodward@theolympian.com.

At a glance

Position: Olympia School Board District 4

Salary: Pay is an optional $50 per meeting

Primary election results

Carolyn Barclift: 3,430 votes, 42.64 percent

Lucy Gentry Meltzer: 2,729 votes, 33.93 percent

Tom Hill: 1,829 votes, 22.74 percent

Write-in: 56 votes, 0.7 percent