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Election 2013: Two candidates eye open School Board post

Anne Bryan and Chip Wallace battle to fill Zone 2 seat


The Beaverton Valley Times asked local School Board candidates to complete a survey to help the community to learn more about them and their education perspectives.

The candidates responses have been edited for length and style. We hope this information helps you cast your vote in the May 21 election.

Zone 2

Candidate: Anne Bryan

Age: 46by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Anne Bryan

Family: Married to John and have four sons enrolled in Beaverton School District schools — fourth grade, seventh grade, freshman and senior.

Job and education background: Mother of four sons; Peace Computers, marketing manager; and IBM Corporation, project manager. Have a bachelor's degree in math and computational sciences and history from Stanford University.

Neighborhood she lives in: Oak Hills/Bethany

Length of time living within the school district: 21 years

School involvement and community service experience: Beaverton School District: Budget Committee member, 2013; Meadow Park Middle School classroom volunteer, PTO president and past PTO treasurer; Westview Band & Auxiliary Parents Organization treasurer; Parent-Child Preschools of Oregon past treasurer; Oak Hills Elementary past Science Fair chair, past member Local School Committee, former Playground Improvement Project chair, classroom volunteer and Science Fair volunteer; and Cedar Hills Cooperative Kindergarten and Preschool past treasurer, personnel chair, president, fundraising chair and classroom volunteer.

What skills, knowledge and experiences do you bring to the School Board? I bring a balanced, well-informed perspective to the board. My community work focuses on sound financial policies that enable students to reach their full potential.

Why are you running? For many years, community members have encouraged me to run for School Board. I hope that I can help students and staff.

How should the school district prioritize spending? As a district, our objective is to provide a learning environment where students and staff can thrive. We must make spending decisions that create that setting. Our budget should also be predictable so that we do not have to make unexpected cuts (or additions) and should be easily explained so that our community understands how their resources are spent.

What school issue have you tackled at a school building or district level? Have you worked to resolve or address a concern within the Beaverton School District? While a member of the Local School Committee at Oak Hills Elementary, I participated on a work group examining the expansion of Bethany Boulevard, which is very close to the school. One of my hopes was that the expansion project could include a safe crossing to the school so that students living nearby would have the opportunity to walk to school. Initial plans did not include the crossing because few pedestrians crossed the busy street. Working with school staff and district personnel to gather supporting data and encouraging a formal district request, the improvement plans changed to include the crossing. I believe this solution was cost-effective and improved the community.

What’s one issue the School Board tackled that you wish had turned out differently? What went wrong? I believe that the board did not fully understand the plans surrounding the recent staff cuts, which resulted in unwanted teacher reassignments and unequal allocation of teaching specialists in the elementary schools. The board and district personnel did not have sufficient communication prior to the change.

What is an initiative you feel turned out well, and what made it work? I believe that the last major boundary change was a successful endeavor. Community members from impacted schools all participated in the difficult conversations to determine an approach that would satisfy district and community goals. The community felt included and heard as part of this process. Interestingly, the process started out terribly but district personnel shifted to appropriately include the community.

The school district faces a number of looming issues. What should it deal with now, and how? Which should be priorities for later? The most pressing issue facing Beaverton schools is achieving adequate funding and developing budgets that prudently spend those resources. The Local Option Levy on the May ballot is a crucial first step toward achieving those goals.

What should voters know about you? I am a leader who has worked to improve education opportunities for Beaverton students.

My priorities for our schools are:

• A solid financial foundation — I will work for sustainable state funding and a responsible district budget that helps children succeed.

• Clear communication — I will ensure that the community and the school district understand and agree on learning priorities to challenge and support all students.

• Engaging learning opportunities — I will emphasize teaching in all subject areas so that students have opportunities for music, PE, the arts, and hands-on technical subjects as well as a strong academic foundation.

How do you plan to encourage citizen involvement/engagement within the district? I plan to make myself available to listen to the community through regularly scheduled PTO meetings and district listening sessions. As a School Board member, I hope to link people of similar concerns so that they can work together. I am also interested in working to improve district communication generally so that Beaverton understands the important work happening in our neighborhood schools every day.

What distinguishes you from your opponent? My long history of community involvement, understanding of district issues, and knowledge of education trends set me apart from my opponent.

What is your leadership style and how will you work with the superintendent, other members of the board and district staff? My work process is to fully research issues by communicating with those impacted by decisions and by investigating successful approaches others haven taken in similar situations. Then, I work to communicate goals with those responsible for directing and implementing solutions. As part of this process, we determine how to report on both progress and challenges faced when proceeding.

Candidate: Chip Wallace

Age: 48

Family: Married with two daughters, both grew up and are in the Beaverton School District.

Job and education background: Earned a bachelor's degree in political science with an emphasis in economics and business from the University of Oregon. Graduate from Ridgewood Grade School in Beaverton, Cedar Park Junior High and Sunset High School.

Neighborhood he lives in: Hartung Farms area in Bethany

Length of time living within the school district: 48 years

School involvement and community service experience: Volunteer with Sunset High School Cheer, Sexton Mountain Elementary School and Cedar Park Middle School.

What skills, knowledge and experiences do you bring to the School Board? My background in business and dealing with clients and employees, past involvement in running and funding an orphanage in Liberia. Growing up and being a product of the Beaverton School District as well as having children go through the same school district give me a unique and inside view of the quality of the education in Beaverton.

Why are you running? To give a equal opportunity to all children in the education arena. I believe education is the great equalizer in any society. I am running to make sure our kids get the best education possible. Currently, we have too many children failing to graduate and too many still caught in schools facing serious financial challenges. Our schools need to produce results, but they also require our unequivocal support. I am running to ensure both.

How should the school district prioritize spending? The classroom is our top priority. Cuts there are unacceptable. We need to look to the halls of administration and other areas for savings. Teachers do great work and require our trust and confidence, especially when it comes to the classroom as our top budgetary priority.

What school issue have you tackled at a school building or district level? Have you worked to resolve or address a concern within the Beaverton School District? No response.

What’s one issue the School Board tackled that you wish had turned out differently? What went wrong? Currently, in order to accommodate many unfunded mandates, we have created a culture of testing in schools. We have also continued to educate students in dual-language programs so they can meet testing requirements. This does not help students in the long run. Sure, it helps teachers and administrators meet their testing goals, but it does not put the student in a position to speak the language of the economy or succeed in later life.

What is an initiative you feel turned out well, and what made it work? No response.

The school district faces a number of looming issues. What should it deal with now, and how? Which should be priorities for later? I believe closing the achievement gap and stabilizing funding should be our top priorities. Ensuring every student has an equal opportunity to succeed is central to the mission of our educational system. Making sure they have dependable resources that are not subject to the dangers of market fluctuations is another important goal.

What should voters know about you? I am a lifelong resident of Beaverton.

How do you plan to encourage citizen involvement/engagement within the district? We need to reach out to local communities and create partnerships. Involving the local business community is key to offering students real world internships and interactions that will benefit them as they prepare for a career.

What distinguishes you from your opponent? As an entrepreneur and small business owner I have the experience required to effectively challenge the status quo. Too many well-intentioned public servants end up rationalizing the status quo and working within its confines. We need to push back. I am the candidate to do this.

What is your leadership style and how will you work with the superintendent, other members of the board and district staff? I believe in an open and inclusive leadership style. Transparency is key. By involving others in the decision-making process in meaningful ways, we can invest people in the education system and build relationships that last.



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