Long-time MLSD board member Vicki Groff not seeking re-election

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MOSES LAKE — Long-time member of the Moses Lake School Board, Vicki Groff, has announced she will not stand for re-election to the board this fall.

Groff, who has served on the school board for 30 years, said after much thought and prayer, the time has come for her to move on.

“It’s been a wonderful time in my life, I’ve learned so much, and I have great respect for our teachers and administrators,” she said. “It’s time for me to figure out what’s next.”

Groff is the most recent member of the Moses Lake School Board to bow out. Earlier this year, board member Eric Stones announced that he would not seek re-election in November. Stones later resigned his seat, saying his replacement needed to be part of this summer budgeting and contract negotiation process.

At the board’s most recent meeting last Thursday, Shannon Hintz was unanimously selected to fill Stone’s seat.

Groff, however, said she would continue through the summer to work on the budget and help reach a new contract with the district’s teachers.

“I have worked to develop a relationship with the unions,” Groff said.

The last few years have been a tumultuous time on the school board, Groff said, given the dispute over the high school construction bond, the addition of two new board members in November 2017 and a heightened public mistrust and anger among some voters in the Moses Lake School District at choices the board has made.

However, Groff said over the course of her 30 years there have been periods just as rancorous, though she added she’s never seen public anger quite like this.

But of the things that have taken place during her lengthy tenure, Groff said the shooting at Frontier Middle School in 1996 is foremost of the things she remembers.

“Frontier is always there,” she said.

Groff, who is 73, said she arrived in Moses Lake in 1953 at the age of 6 when the school district was using old Army barracks for schools and there weren’t enough houses for everyone who lived here.

“I think about what has changed in this community,” she said. “When the base shut, we all thought we were going to die.”

However, Moses Lake had muddled through, and Groff is convinced the area has reached a point where it “will continue to grow.”

Groff said she is working on becoming a certified mediator through the Columbia Basin Dispute Resolution Center, a non-profit that helps people try to solve their disputes “outside a court in a cooperative manner.”

Which will allow her to remain involved in the community, even as she prepares to leave the school board in six months or so.

“I’m going to miss this,” Groff said. “It’s been a pleasure, and I’m grateful for all those who allowed me to serve.”

Groff represents District 5, which covers most of the peninsula as well as west of the lake through Mae Valley. If you are interested in running for the seat contact the Moses Lake School District at 509-766-2650 or Grant County Auditor’s elections office at 509-754-2011 x2704. The deadline to file is 5 p.m. on Friday.

Charles H. Featherstone can be reached via email at cfeatherstone@columbiabasinherald.com.

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