Seth Root/The Broadside
All the things that Marcus LeGrand has done throughout his life have led him to this point. To run for the Bend LaPine School Board. But you wouldn’t know that by his resume.
LeGrand started by not going to college but rather serve our country for eight years in the Navy due to lack of money.
“I planned to attend college right after high school, but I did not have the resources due to being in a single-parent home,” said LeGrand from his office. “So, I chose to go into the military.”
Once LeGrand got out of the Navy, he decided to enroll in a community college while living on the west coast.
“After the military, I enrolled at a community college when I was living in Hawaii, as well as living in the Seattle area,” Said LeGrand.
After finishing his time as a nontraditional community college student, LeGrand graduated from the University of Washington in Marketing, where he worked in the corporate world for several years. But after a while, LeGrand realized that his calling was something different than marketing.
“All the things that I have done have allowed me to now know what I want to do,” Said LeGrand, “Which is to give back to students.”
So, LeGrand and his wife made the trip from Michigan to Central Oregon to do just that, where he is now the college and Career Success Coach at Central Oregon Community College.
LeGrand’s time as a college and Career Success Coach was in part the reason why he decided to run for the Bend-LaPine School Board this year.
“You know, I see what students are experiencing [as a college Career Coach], so when I have an 18, 19, year-old student not clearly understand why they want to go to school, and then I am going, ‘ok, 18, 19-year-olds are telling me this, what is going on,” said, LeGrand. “Why aren’t they prepared?”
That, however, isn’t the only reason LeGrand is running for office. LeGrand’s experiences with an organization called the Father’s Group, in which LeGrand is a board member, were also a reason why he decided to run.
“Then I was noticing, in the organization that I was a part of, called The Father’s Group, that we Dads were talking about some of the issues that person’s of color were dealing with when it comes to racial disparities, ” said LeGrand. So, we would have events, and students would tell us what was going on at our schools, and they would tell us about teachers saying rude or obnoxious things to them, and when you hear that for a couple of years, and they have no support, we started showing up to board meetings.”
However, despite speaking up and going to school board meetings, nothing was happening. It was then that LeGrand then decided to run for the school board.
“So, you do that [showing up at school board] for several years, and nothing changes,” Said LeGrand. “Instead of complaining about it and throwing your hands up, how about having a voice at the table? So, I wanted to be that voice.”
It is too soon to tell if LeGrand will win. Many candidates are running for Bend-LaPine School Board. We will certainly know on May 18.