By Mike Weland
I know this is unfair; I own "ink," albeit
digital. Therefore I have to give background and
I was sitting at the back of Sater's Auction a
few weeks ago when David Brinkman, towing
exuberant kid's Logan and Liliana, stopped by
and mentioned that, after 11 years, Tim Bertling
had asked to resign from the Boundary County
School District 101 Board of Trustees and they
were going to be seeking someone to step in to
fill a huge pair of shoes.
"Do you know anyone from Moyie Springs who might
be interested?" he asked.
"I hardly know anyone from Moyie Springs," I
said. "I just moved here."
His wife, Melinda, was bidding on something, and
David walked away.
He came back moments later.
"Did you say you live in Moyie?"
"Uh huh," I said. "But I'm not going to
We laughed and chatted while our wives were
busy, Melinda came over with her haul and said,
"time to go,"
I volunteered and they left.
Moments later, my wife, Debbie came to the table
and laid her purchases down.
"Guess what?" I said. " I think I may have
volunteered for the school board."
"You did what?!"
I hadn't, really. I had inside information. The
board hadn't yet even accepted 11-year member
Tim Bertling's resignation. They did that at the
November board meeting a few days later and said
they'd be accepting letters of interest until
I was off the hook. But I'm not. So I've
written, but haven't submitted, a "letter of
It's long, and for that I apologize, but I felt
duty-bound to live up to my word.
But having written it, I think of the big shoes;
especially those of Leonard Kucera Jr., who took
so much flack but served the district and the
community well for more years than I was old
when I met him, and I have second thoughts. Tim
wears some tremendously big shoes, too, and
there has to be someone out there more capable
than me to fill them.
I wrote it with the intention of submitting, and
of serving if selected. But the students of this
county, and the Boosters and the alumni, deserve
the very best, and I think there has to be many
better, if they'll only step forward.
Instead of submitting my letter of interest, I
am publishing it, in hope that someone
better than I steps forward.
The kids in public schools in this county need
and deserve nothing less.
PO Box 834
57 Walnut Street
Moyie Springs, ID
Board of Trustees
School District 101
November 15, 2012
Letter of Interest
I hereby express my
interest in being appointed to the vacant Zone 2
position on the Boundary School District 101
Board of Trustees and my willingness to work
hard to learn the many duties and
responsibilities entailed that I may serve well.
In requesting consideration
to be permitted to serve, I bring with me no
bias or preconception, just a willingness to
serve to the best of my ability. I have been and
am a local news reporter for more than 20 years,
and I served as county zoning administrator and
public information officer for more than 12
I’ve consistently been
impressed with the achievements of our school
administrators, teachers, staff, students and
alumni, and would dedicate myself, if selected,
to see to the continuation of excellence this
district is known for.
I have also seen the
difficulties faced by the school board and
administration in retaining funding and support,
both local and legislative, which are essential
in maintaining such a level of excellence in a
small and rural district.
Instead of being
detriments, as many might suspect when
considering for “hire” a reporter, my experience
in journalism, media and public relations would
be beneficial to the district. In fact, I see my
initial contributions in those areas as I learn
the intricacies of the position that will enable
my reasoned contributions in those areas more
traditional, especially in the face of the
As a journalist, I will not
slant my coverage. I will present the facts in my journal in the best
light possible, even while giving voice to those
I would advise the district
on how to best get word out to the general
public through other media … something I’ve
learned through experience that most educators
I have but a high school
education, that in 1976 from Fletcher High
School, Fletcher, Oklahoma, a school much
smaller than BFHS and just as rural. I was one
of 40 graduates that year, up to that time the
biggest class in Wildcat history.
I wish I’d have been able to attend a school
like BFHS. I don’t know if I’d have taken
advantage of all the opportunities offered here,
I do know, having been offered, I could never
fault the school for my own indifference.
Fletcher didn’t offer a
lot; ours weren’t the tales of kids going to
MIT, Yale or Harvard, but to work on the farm,
in the military or in the trades. A few went to
college, but not many.
I’m still remiss; I could
and should have learned more from my school
before I joined the Army than I did, I just
couldn’t be bothered. Work was, for me at the
time, more important. I’ve never since been
availed the opportunity to learn what I might
have, and I regret it.
I still wonder what I might
I am now somewhat limited
physically due to a stroke I experienced in
April, which is why I had to retire my position
with the county, but these limitations, which
I’m adapting to, should not impair my ability to
carry out the duties or responsibilities
inherent in serving
My stroke, unlike most, was
caused by a collapsed capillary in the right
motor cortex of my brain rather than a ruptured
blood vessel or a clot; doctors told me the
cause was likely genetic and that there’s little
risk of recurrence. It did not impair my ability
think, talk or write, just my ability to walk
use two hands.
I am learning the sound of
one hand clapping. It’s quiet, but no less
I am aware that, if
selected, I will be expected to have your
selection ratified by voters in the spring.
I assure you that while I
can’t run for election, I will throw my hat in
the ring when the filing period opens and then
commence hobbling just as fast as I can. I will
give coverage to every candidate who asks
equally, and I will also be in the courthouse on
election night, reporting the results, fairly
and without bias.
I appreciate the difficult
work done by school board trustees, and I know
that it’s an often thankless task and very poor
in pay. But I have had the privilege to know
quite a number of you, and I’ve come to know how
great the rewards.
I would be honored to serve
with each of you.