Meet the Candidates: Darrell Eddins, Sr.

SSUSD Board of Education

Meet the Candidates: Darrell Eddins, Sr.By LAURA LEIGH MONTEREY

News Review Correspondent

Darrell Eddins has lived, worked, and served in the Ridgecrest community since he moved here right after high school and newly married, in 1974. He worked at Kerr-McGee, then at various positions on Base. During that time, he went back to school online (UC Riverside, Columbia Southern University), achieving his Bachelor of Arts in Health and Safety. He went to work for Searles Valley Minerals. He coached sports from 1973 up until 2017, but was solidly football for the last 13 years. He’s served on the board of the Chamber of Commerce, the Ridgecrest Regional Hospital Corporate board, IWV Boys & Girls Club Board, IWV Football Board, IWV Baseball Board, Ridgecrest IWV United Way Board, and the Desert Empire Fair Board. At his suggestion and involvement, the City of Ridgecrest developed the Kerr-McGee sports fields, and bestowed him with the keys to the city for his contributions.

“I am a safety professional, so I believe in watching out for the safety of students,” Eddins said, who is somewhat critical of the safety standards in SSUSD schools. “There’s only a couple schools that display adequate safety. For example, even at the new Murray Middle School, there’s tumbleweeds all around.”

Eddins believes that a beautiful environment has a motivating effect. “If you make the schools beautiful and conducive to learning, kids will want to go there. It’s not that we don’t have the capability. It’s a matter of emphasis and management, which is especially important in the high school and middle schools.”

In curricular matters, Eddins would like to see a greater emphasis on instruction in government, not just politics. “Although government is different than politics, students need to understand how politics works,” he pointed out, adding that training in these subjects is needed if students are going to succeed after graduation. “We want them to have a direction,” he said. “It is so important to prepare them for the challenges they will face out in the world.”

Eddins admits that finances for the district will be a significant challenge. “With COVID-19, it will be hard to obtain additional funding because our whole state is struggling.” In addition, modes of instruction and their effectiveness are still largely untried and results unknown. “Although the schools are open, the kids are at home, not in a classroom setting. It’s hard to picture how they’re getting taught, and it’s hard to see how we would get funding when we’re not even fully open.”

While Eddins is open to seeing virtual instruction becoming better developed and emphasized the need for teacher training, his heart is definitely with the classroom. “The virtual environment has to work right now, but I really want to get the kids back on campus.”

Story First Published: 2020-09-25