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Last hurrah: Edwards retires from school board after 20 years
After serving almost 20 years on the Snoqualmie Valley School Board, Rudy Edwards is saying goodbye to his position.
Edwards ended his final meeting as a school board member on Thursday, Dec. 10. A reception in his honor is planned for 3:30 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 12, at the Snoqualmie Valley School District Boardroom, 8001 Silva Avenue S.E., Snoqualmie.
Edwards said he is leaving his responsibilities in good hands with the current and newly elected board members.
A Mississippi native fresh out of graduate school at Tuskegee University, he traveled west in 1975 to seek more opportunities as a forester.
Residing and working in Roseburg, Ore., he was transferred to North Bend to become North Bend Ranger Station's area manager in 1989.
With his wife Connie, Edwards raised two daughters in North Bend's school district. He became involved with Opstad Elementary's Parent Teacher Association, eventually moving up as a school board representative in March 1990 thus starting his 20-year involvement with the district.
Sharing memories at last week's meeting, school board members presented Edwards with tokens of their appreciation and a certificate acknowledging his dedication, service and legacy on the board.
"We've put this off as long as we could," said Superintendent Joel Aune. "I've had the pleasure to work with Rudy for the past five years, and during that time, he's always brought to the board integrity, honesty, and a philosophy based on two principles" — responsible stewardship and doing what was best for children.
Today more than ever, board service takes courage and conviction, Aune added. Edwards possessed the courage to make the difficult and authoritative decisions that were right and good for students, the superintendent said.
When he first came into the Valley, Edwards said described the region as "a rural forest" but now it's a "high-tech rural forest." A forester by profession, Edwards said the board needed a new kind of member who would be able to handle the "cyberstuff."
Acknowledging Scott Hodgins — who will be replacing him in January — and the current board members, Edwards said they were great examples of the right people who have an understanding of the current times and who can carry out the taxpayers' business in the district today.
As his natural resource and sustainbility skills help him to review land management to enhance the school district it was also what kept him dedicated to the board.
"I could review and that was in my skill level," he said.
When asked what he was most proud of in his 20-year tenure with the school district, Edwards said, there's not one, it's a combo of things that make us better and better.
But he did admit he was proud of Chief Kanim Middle School, Two Rivers Alternative School and Twin Falls Middle School.
Even with the controversy that came with the establishment of the two middle and alternative high school, Edward said it would blow people's minds if people saw how good they are and what they've been doing.
"We've done a great job with the other board members that have been on this board for the past 20 years, but now we have other things that we need," Edwards said.
The board is only starting with the business at hand, but they now have the right people to get the job done, he added.