School Board Position Two Candidate Steve Hiett

Steve Hiett says he wants to see Sweet Home schools continue to thrive.

Hiett, 43, is running for position two, Liberty, against Jenny Daniels. Jeff Lynn, the incumbent, is not running.

Education has always been important to Hiett, he said. A veterinarian at the Animal Clinic in Lebanon, he has four years of undergraduate education and four years of graduate education.

He puts a big value on learning, he said. “Education is certainly a way to better yourself and better society.”

Hiett served in Cambodia with the Christian Veterinarian Mission, where he was able to see firsthand how valuable it is.

He would like to increase awareness about the needs and the possibilities in the school system, he said, and he is not coming at it with a particular agenda.

With his children in the system, he said. “I want to see the school systems continue to thrive and do well.”

Hiett is serving on the district budget committee, so he is familiar with the budget cuts the district faces.

“The state dictates the principal funding sources for the school system,” he said. “We’re in a position where we respond to the numbers the state gives us.”

The things a budget committee and district can do are limited, he said. Most important is trying to make cuts that will least impact the overall quality of education.

Still, the reductions may mean a higher teacher-student ratio, he said. With sports and the budget, “I think you have to be a little careful. I’m not sure how much savings you could get.”

It’s more than just the athletic events, he said. It could potentially be something that causes a student to lose interest in school. Sports is a motivating factor for many students.

As a board member, his priority would be to listen to the public and to promote the value of education, he said. “Part of my work overseas was community development. That’s a lot of listening, being a sounding board and helping people make decisions with a thoughtful approach, seeing what we want to achieve and figuring out how to do that.”

He wants to listen to people and their concerns, looking at the quality of education and finding ways to capitalize on opportunities, he said.

“What I can bring to the School Board is an ability to listen to multiple sides of situations to try to be thoughtful and try to be a good communicator back to people that bring their concerns,” he said. “I’m a good collaborator and a good thinker.”

He describes himself as level-headed.

His emotions don’t run to far too fast, he said, and he works well with other people.

“I value education, and I’m here because I want to try to make education as good as it possibly can be for our community,” he said.

Hiett is married to Kim Hiett. They have two children, Jakob, 12, and Dana 10. They have lived in the Sweet Home area for four years. Hiett grew up in central California and served in Cambodia prior to coming to Sweet Home.