Town Where You Live
Director, Aging & People with
Disabilities, Department of Human
Services; Kids’ Court Appointed
Special Advocate; Domestic Violence
Educational Background: University of Oregon, BA; Vermont
Law School, JD
Prior Governmental Experience: U.S. Senate Subcommittee on
Primary Health & Aging (staff director)
First and foremost we must ensure that teachers have all of the tools they need to help meet students where they are and help them get back up-to-speed. This includes placing an emphasis on mental health and behavioral health supports. I have spent my entire life advocating for those who are treated unfairly or left behind, from my years spent leading programs for seniors and people with disabilities here in Oregon, to my time in DC fighting for all women to receive equal pay for equal work. Working for students hurt by these achievement gaps will be a key priority for me.
In my work I have managed large teams, been in charge of massive budgets on behalf of Oregon’s seniors, and negotiated complex contracts in service of Oregonians with disabilities. Throughout all of this I have learned how to focus a big organization on goals, and ensuring they achieve them. I will bring those lessons to guiding our district to prioritizing students who are being left behind.
Talking to parents in our community, and as a parent of two kids in our schools myself, I know firsthand how shut out families feel from our district’s decision making process. One of the first things I would do on the board is change the culture and policy of board meetings to undo what current leadership has done to decrease transparency and public input.
In all my work in government I have always led by listening to the people I serve. I would do the same on our school board. We need to increase outreach efforts deliberately, make meetings more accessible and have listening sessions in many locations around Salem and Keizer to seek the widest involvement possible.
I have spent years tackling budget challenges in my work in government for Oregon’s seniors. This year has brought us unprecedented levels of change and hardship. Our district has had to cover many unforeseen expenses such as increased reliance on technology, physical plant modifications to ensure safety, increased demand for meals programs and many others. There are many challenges in the months ahead.
I have personally shepherded key budget investments through our Legislature in order to provide services for seniors and people with disabilities, and I would bring this experience to advocating for our district to receive emergency funds we need to safely and responsibly get students back in classrooms full time as soon as we can.
En primer lugar, debemos asegurarnos de que los maestros tengan todas las herramientas que necesitan para ayudar a los estudiantes. Esto incluye poner énfasis en la salud mental y los apoyos para la salud del comportamiento. He pasado toda mi vida abogando por aquellos que son tratados injustamente o abandonados, desde mis años dirigiendo programas para personas mayores y personas con discapacidades aquí en Oregon, hasta mi tiempo en DC luchando para que todas las mujeres reciban el mismo salario por el mismo trabajo. Trabajar para los estudiantes afectados por estas brechas de rendimiento será una prioridad clave para mí.
En mi trabajo, he dirigido equipos grandes, he estado a cargo de presupuestos masivos en nombre de las personas mayores de Oregon y he negociado contratos complejos al servicio de los residentes de Oregon con discapacidades. A lo largo de todo esto, he aprendido cómo enfocar una gran organización en los objetivos y asegurar que los alcancen.
Al hablar con los padres de nuestra comunidad, y como madre de dos niños en nuestras escuelas, sé de primera mano cómo se sienten las familias excluidas del proceso de toma de decisiones de nuestro distrito. Una de las primeras cosas que haría en la Mesa Directiva es cambiar la cultura y la política de las reuniones de la junta para deshacer lo que ha hecho el liderazgo actual para disminuir la transparencia y la opinión pública.
En todo mi trabajo en el gobierno, siempre he liderado escuchando a las personas a las que sirvo. Haría lo mismo en nuestra Mesa Directiva escolar. Necesitamos aumentar los esfuerzos de divulgación, hacer que las reuniones sean más accesibles y tener sesiones de padres en varios lugares de Salem y Keizer para buscar la mayor participación posible.
He pasado años abordando desafíos presupuestarios en mi trabajo en el gobierno para las personas mayores de Oregon. Este año nos ha traído niveles sin precedentes de cambios y dificultades. Nuestro distrito ha tenido que cubrir muchos gastos imprevistos, como una mayor dependencia de la tecnología, modificaciones de la planta física para garantizar la seguridad, una mayor demanda de programas de comidas y muchos otros. Hay muchos desafíos en los próximos meses.
Personalmente he dirigido inversiones presupuestarias clave a través de nuestra Legislatura con el fin de brindar servicios para personas mayores y personas con discapacidades, y aportaría esta experiencia para abogar para que nuestro distrito reciba los fondos de emergencia que necesitamos para que los estudiantes regresen a las escuelas de manera segura y responsable a tiempo completo. Tan pronto como podamos.
Campaign Phone (public)
Town Where You Live
BSN OHSU 1985, worked in recovery & ER x 30yrs
Appointed by DA to Marion Count Citizen Review Board to review DHS foster care ~ 2000-2020
School Budget Committee and School Bond Committee
2021 Lay counselor church
2009 Salem Keizer Schools Budget Oversight Committee
2007 - 2009 Volunteer coordinator, +25 businesses built concession stand and bathrooms SSHS
2003-2005 SK24J Salem Keizer Schools Budget Advisory Team
2007 Chair, SSHS Graduation Party
2000 - 2003 Volunteer Victims Assistance
This is a big concern because the gaps continue even though we all know that research says connection and parent engagement are keys to success.
After talking to many people:
1. I think we need to do better at communicating, especially to those who are falling through the cracks. Everyone has a tendency to make assumptions based on their experience. We need to check our assumptions, use community resources to penetrate cultural divides so we can find solutions that work. Many people told me they didn't know their options or opportunities. They didn't know how or that they should engage.
2. We need good data and use it to make decisions instead of politics
3. We also need to explore every opportunity to partner with the community and local business to connect with students.
4. We need to allow flexibility and options for mulitlayered disciplines to be part of school. So much energy goes to the enormous socioeconomic needs - 70+% are on in poverty. We need to free up the teacher.
Parental involvement is vital and I am concerned at the way it appears parents are moved further and further out from school decisions. After listening to parents and students, they said too many times the teachers assumed what they needed without asking them. I don't think parents are educated on their rights by law to be involved. And sometimes they are too exhausted. Much more education is needed by weekly bulletins, mailings, social media posts, neighborhood forums, flyers sent home with students, newspaper, texts, etc. Use forums culturally relevant for different groups. Using community sponsors and partners, translated in all 90+ languages. Also make sure that ALL students are informed and given choices for advanced and alternate educational opportunities. But then we should follow up and get in person feedback if we really want to understand the situation. It takes work but it is worth it. It needs to be a two way conversation!
The socioeconomic costs of hybrid learning is staggering, especially our most vulnerable students & families, because right or wrong all of our safety nets and services are found in school. Schools are the 2nd largest employer in the state a many ancillary staff have been laid off. A 2004 study showed more than 100,000 jobs and nearly $4 billion in personal income was directly or indirectly associated with school spending. Many parents had to quit their jobs because there is no daycare. Many are leaving public schools.The compounding effects will be felt for decades.
1. Studies say school choice/vouchers would raise grad rates, as kids/parents more satisfied with a learning situation that fit their unique needs. Kids that graduate don’t end up in jail as often & don’t enroll in Medicaid but tend to work, leading to taxable income.
2.Getting back to basics to increase achievement is key.
3. Using good data for decision making.
4. Engage parents, students, and teachers in decisions
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