Two candidates vying for SOESD's Zone 8 position

Two candidates vying for positions on the Southern Oregon Education Service District board in the May 21 election say their priorities will be special education and finances.

"Our education should be a priority when it comes to budgets," said candidate Leon Callahan. "Without education, in the long run, you have nothing."

Callahan, 55, and Lori Goodman-Vogel, who declined to give her age, are running for Zone 8, which covers Central Point School District, Rogue River School District and a portion of Three Rivers School District within Jackson County. Three other candidates are running for positions that are uncontested.

Callahan said if elected, he would examine SOESD's finances to determine what changes need to be made.

"I think the biggest accomplishment is to help appropriate the funds in the right channel," said Callahan.

Callahan has been involved with 4-H, Future Farmers of America and other groups with a focus on agriculture. Callahan is a meat cutter at Food 4 Less. He is the owner of Leon's Custom Farm Butchering in Central Point.

Goodman-Vogel would like to work with special education after seeing what was offered at various schools when her son was a student.

"I think the most important thing that anyone can do is educate the future," Goodman-Vogel said.

Before retiring, Goodman-Vogel worked as a production manager for Teledyne MEC, a government contractor. She volunteers with the SMART program in Central Point and works alongside her husband as a neighborhood coordinator for the Medford Food Project.

Candidates running for uncontested positions on the SOESD board in Jackson County are Christine Norton-Cotts for Zone 5, Gregory Applen for Zone 6, and Paul K. Yates for Zone 7.

Ballots will be sent out on May 3.

Shannon Houston is a Southern Oregon University intern. Reach her at

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