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Incumbent Cryderman faces longtime teacher Mathes in Toutle Lake School Board race

TOUTLE — Incumbent Ron Cryderman and longtime teacher Lisa Mathes are vying for the Toutle Lake School Board District 3 position in the General Election.

Cryderman was appointed to the position in 2017, according to Superintendent Secretary Audrey Burns, and is facing his first election in the only Toutle Lake School Board race this November.

Cryderman did not respond to requests from The Daily News to discuss his candidacy and did not submit a statement to the Cowlitz County Voters’ Pamphlet, which is organized by the county auditor’s office to distribute information from candidates about why they are running.

Mathes, 46, said she has lived in Toutle for about 12 years and is vying for the four-year term for candidates living in the school district along Hall Road, south of Spirit Lake Memorial Highway.

Mathes said she has been teaching in Castle Rock for seven of her roughly 20 years in special education. She previously substituted at Toutle Lake. One stepson is a Toutle Lake graduate and another is a freshman.

She said she was inspired to run after the pandemic highlighted systematic errors in education, such as the state’s broad control over local districts and lack of technological resources for rural schools. She said “local control of school boards have been pushed to the wayside” amid state rules during the pandemic and she wants to “make sure that local control stays on the school board” because members living in the community “know what’s best.”

Mathes said she would rally to bring needed broadband for distance learning to rural Toutle so the area “doesn’t get forgotten” by state broadband initiatives.

Mathes said she has worked with local state representatives as a Legislative District 20 director for the Cowlitz County Republican Party. She said she also is a founding member of a new, all-female conservative service group that supports local charities like the Cowlitz County Veterans Service Center.

Mathes said she would bring “a wealth of knowledge” to the board and will prioritize retaining qualified teachers and ensuring salaries compare to surrounding districts of similar sizes.

The Toutle Lake School Board manages the roughly 600-student district by approving items such as budgets, new hires and whether to request levies from voters and the amounts of those levies. Board members are not paid for their service, Burns said.

Ballots for the General Election are scheduled to be mailed Oct. 15 and are due Nov. 2.

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