Author's daughter running for school board position

When it comes to word association, the name Macomber is synonymous with romance.

It is a legacy that J. Adele Macomber Lacombe — the daughter of best-selling author Debbie Macomber — embraces.

“She really is my mentor and hero as someone who can be very successful, but also remember this is her hometown,” Macomber Lacombe said. “She sees everyone through their best potential. That’s why who she is resonates through people; because they want to see themselves in their best light.”

She said that particularly is important with children and one reason why she is running for the District 5 school board position, which encompasses Sidney, McCormick Woods, Burley and Olalla.

“Seeing the difference that someone on the school board can make about the outcome for the kids — that’s the most important part,” Macomber Lacombe said. “Offering them a solid education and opportunities to do things they might not be able to do anywhere else.”

With the exception of a brief stay at Central Washington University, she has lived in South Kitsap since 1986. Macomber Lacombe, 40, graduated in 1989 from South Kitsap High School and married nuclear engineer Kevin Lacombe three years later. The couple has three children, all of whom attend school in SKSD.

In addition to that, Macomber Lacombe said she has managed about 800 volunteers from Shelton to Port Townsend for Girl Scouts.

“I just helped them do their jobs, which was serving the girls of the community,” she said.

Macomber Lacombe also has done other charitable work in the past, including with her mother’s Cedar Cove Association.

She then picked up the newspaper during late spring and noticed that Jay Rosapepe resigned from his District 5 school board position. Rosa-pepe said he resigned to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest when he decided to apply for SKSD’s transportation director opening. He later was hired into that role.

“The school board position became available in the paper and I thought it would be a pretty good idea,” said Macomber Lacombe, adding that she later discussed her intentions with SKSD board president Kathryn Simpson. “My reason is because I care about my community and I really care about my kids.”

Macomber Lacombe said she has attended several recent board meetings and is impressed with the work of SKSD and its board.

“While resources are down, there’s not a focus on that at the school level,” she said. “There’s a focus on what we are accomplishing and what is happening. I really love a mission-driven school … because you can always come back to your core.”

In addition to community involvement, Macomber Lacombe said her business background also could serve as an asset to the board. She took over her mother’s A Good Yarn Shop in Port Orchard after “it started falling apart.” In one year, she said the store’s profit increased 148 percent.

“People weren’t happy,” said Macomber Lacombe, adding that she made significant adjustments, including to the store’s hours. “You have to be willing to address it even if it upsets people.

“I call those courageous conversations. I have to have those all the time in the job I’m in.”

Macomber Lacombe draws parallels to that work in A Good Yarn Shop to a potential role on the school board.

“It’s the same idea,” she said. “Make sure processes are in place for success. And when they’re not, help create those so they are.”

She said it all is done with one goal.

“I want a community that has strong schools,” Macomber Lacombe said. “If you don’t have strong schools, you don’t strong community. They go hand in hand.”

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