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Cassia County School Employee Named To State Board Of Education

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By Paul Johnson

Boise, Idaho ( KMVT-TV / KSVT-TV ) - Idaho Governor Butch Otter on Wednesday, named the Cassia County School’s Communications Officer to the State Board of Education. Debbie Critchfield was named to the position. Critchfield, a resident of Oakley along with Dr. David Hill of Boise filled the two vacancies on the Board.
Hill, retired executive vice president of the Battelle Energy Alliance and deputy director for science and technology at the Idaho National Laboratory, replaces Milford Terrell of Boise on the eight-member Board of Education. Terrell resigned June 30 from his third term on the Board. Hill will complete that term, which runs until March 2017.

Critchfield, a former member and chairman of the Cassia County School Board and an active community education leader, replaces Ken Edmunds on the Board of Education. Edmunds, then living in Twin Falls, resigned in November 2013 when Governor Otter made him director of the Idaho Department of Labor. Critchfield’s term runs until March 2018.

“These two are great representatives of the diverse but interconnected priorities of the State Board of Education. They are champions of local control of our schools and they have a keen understanding of the big picture – the critical importance of building a world-class education system for our students, our families, our communities and our economy,” Governor Otter said.

“David and Debbie enthusiastically embrace the mission of implementing the recommendations of my Education Task Force,” he said. “And they share my K-through-Career goals for preparing Idaho’s workforce for better jobs and opportunities in an increasingly competitive global marketplace.”

The Governor said he chose Hill and Critchfield from a stellar field of applicants, which made the selection particularly difficult. “Frankly, I couldn’t have made a bad choice. I’m very grateful for the willingness of all the candidates to serve and to help advance my vision for education in Idaho.”

That includes meeting the goal embodied in the Governor’s Education Task Force recommendations and endorsed by the Board of Education calling for at least 60 percent of Idaho residents ages 25-34 having a post-secondary degree or professional certification by 2020.

Hill is chairman of the Idaho Global Entrepreneurial Mission (IGEM) Council, a member of the Higher Education Research Council (HERC) and the EPSCoR committee that advises the Board of Education. In addition, he serves on the Center for Advanced Energy Studies (CAES) steering committee, and is on the Idaho Regional Optical Network’s (IRON) Board of Directors. He and his wife Georgia Meacham have five children.

With an extensive background in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) education at the university level, Hill said, “I want to see our institutions of higher education improve in that area, and I think I can help.”

Critchfield is a member of the Cassia County Republican Central Committee. She previously was Region 4 chairman of the Idaho School Boards Association, a member of the State Technology Task Force, a member of the State Dual Credit Task Force, president of the Oakley Valley Arts Council and president of the local elementary and high school parent-teacher organizations. She and her husband David have two grown children and two still attending public schools in Cassia County.

“I am excited for this opportunity to work with others who have a passion for education as Idaho moves forward,” Critchfield said.


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