BURLEY, Idaho — Seven-year Idaho State Board of Education member and immediate past president, Debbie Critchfield, has announced her candidacy for state superintendent of public instruction on Tuesday, and will pursue the elected position as a Republican.
Focusing on current challenges and statewide discussions, Critchfield’s primary focus is to restore the value of an Idaho education.
“Parents are questioning the effectiveness of their child’s education, teachers are discouraged about their profession, local board members are wondering about the system, administrators are seeking for state direction, industry is desperate for student preparedness and taxpayers are debating state investments," Critchfield said. "We must make education count. It’s time to restore the value of an Idaho education."
Critchfield said her decision to pursue the position is one that has been thought out over time and events of the past year made the time feel right.
“I have considered running for this position for several years," she said. "This last year created an urgency in me. I have been at the state education table and observed, first-hand, what’s needed in our K-12 system, starting at the top. The lessons we have learned during this pandemic have only intensified those needs. We must advance our students, back our local boards, involve our parents, and provide high-quality teaching environments.”
A former ten-year local school board member and community leader, Critchfield has served as a volunteer to Idaho’s State Board of Education since 2013. First appointed by Governor Otter and then reappointed by Governor Little, she has worked on a number of statewide initiatives and most recently was the chair for Idaho’s Reopening Plan for school districts in 2020.
In addition to being a former local board member, Critchfield lists:
- Reopening Idaho Schools, chair
- Gov. Little’s Education Task Force, co-chair
- Gov. Butch Otters’ Higher Ed Task Force, committee member and subcommittee co-chair
- Cassia Republican Central Committee, precinct chair, committee secretary, and state committeewoman
- Statewide Dual Credit Task Force
- Statewide Technology Task Force, subcommittee chair
- Idaho Business Review, 50 Idaho Women of the Year
- Idaho Commission of Libraries, partner of the Year
Joined by family, friends, and supporters in her home school district of Cassia County, Critchfield shared her experiences in education leading up to her decision to run for state office. “What I found in the education arena brought out my desire to serve my community and make a positive difference for families and students.”
Critchfield will remain on the Board of Education while Governor Little seeks a replacement and then she will step away to focus on her statewide run.