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'The real question is, what else does our school board need?'

As we approach the end of this long campaign season for the Lake Oswego School Board, I’ve observed that supporters of both candidates are energized (and also anxious) about the election outcome. Howell

Unfortunately, this often leads to negativity and overreaction. I want to encourage everyone to stay positive and focused on the issues that matter most to students and our schools.

I also want to acknowledge Kevin Robertson and his family during a difficult time while his daughter has been hospitalized. We have all been praying for her to make a full recovery soon.

This is a pivotal year for the Lake Oswego School District as we decide the future makeup of our school board. I’m proud to have more endorsements (including more than 20 current and former Lake Oswego Schools Foundation board members) than any other candidate in this election. This strong vote of confidence is from the experienced leaders in our community. They have worked alongside me and have seen my positive, collaborative work style and passion for our excellent programs.

If I am elected, our school board will gain the perspective of an elementary parent — one who chose to move here, stay here and enroll our children in public schools. Families in this community often have the ability to choose between private and other public programs. Any time we lose a student to a school outside our district, our district loses the statewide dollars allocated to that student from the state funding formula. I want more of our residents to choose our local public schools. I also want to encourage families from other school districts to move here. This will boost our funding and keep our school district strong.

Yet being on the school board is not just about being a fiscal watchdog. We already will have four (of five) school board members with financial expertise (business owners, entrepreneurs and business analysts). These four board members also have the wisdom that comes from having high school-age children or graduates.

The real question is, what else does our school board need? I believe we must work harder to promote the education of all of the students within the district. More is being asked of school districts who must provide the education we want for our children with fewer and fewer public resources being made available.

My professional background in marketing and public affairs will benefit our board. These skills were an asset when I led the marketing effort for the last several years on the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation. During my tenure as marketing chairwoman, we developed a new annual event at the Lake Oswego Farmers' Market, redesigned our website, branding and logo, all of which contributed to two of the biggest fundraising years in foundation history. The endorsements of many of my fellow board members speak for themselves.

My only “agenda” is to provide the best possible education for our children in an environment of limited resources. I will continue to be a positive, collaborative advocate for sustained excellence in Lake Oswego schools.

Ballots have already arrived. Please vote and encourage others to do the same. Please cast your vote for Sarah Howell for Position 2, and contact me by visiting SarahForLOSD.com or facebook.com/SarahForLOSD. Thank you.

Sarah Howell, Lake Oswego, is a candidate for Lake Oswego School Board, Position No. 2.




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