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School board candidates set for May election


Three school districts in the Memo circulation area - Parkrose, David Douglas and Reynolds - are holding school board elections Tuesday, May 21.

All five positions on the Parkrose Board of Education are up for election; three positions (1, 4 and 5) have four-year terms ending June 30, 2017. Positions 2 and 3 have two-year terms ending June 30, 2015.

Incumbents Alesia Reese (Position 1) and James Woods (Position 5) previously announced they would not seek re-election.

Of the other incumbents, Position 4's Ed Grassel is unopposed for re-election.

David Horton (Position 2) and Thuy Tran (Position 3) - both appointed to fill resigning members' seats - only Tran, an optometrist in the Hollywood district, is seeking election to a full, four-year term.

In an email, Horton said, “When I was brought onto the school board, I made no commitment to run for a four year term and I was not involved in any understanding regarding running for election.” He added, “My goal was to help the children of Parkrose through board service. After serving for nearly a year, I learned that I don't have the time to do impactful board work so I am stepping aside.”

James Trujillo, a senior human resources manager for the Port of Portland filed to run for Horton's seat. He is unopposed. Trujillo was co-chair of the Yes for Parkrose bond measure campaign that won passage in May 2011.

Former Parkrose board of education member Mark Gardner (1994-99), a construction contractor, filed to run against Tran.

Gardner, whose children matriculated through Parkrose schools and regularly attends board meetings said, “I am tired of the lies and deceit of the current school board. I am disappointed with [current board of education member] Thuy's [Tran] vote to condemn Rossi property. She voted the way the superintendent told her to. She is a well-meaning and enthusiastic volunteer, but she does not understand Parkrose.” He added, “It was gracious of her to fill Guy Crawford's position after he quit in the middle of his term, but we need someone with experience, especially as we are about to build a new middle school and refurbish Sacramento, which is why, reluctantly, I am running again; we need an advocate for Parkrose students, not the superintendent.”

Of Gardner's filing to oppose her candidacy, the 46-year-old mother of three children who attend Parkrose schools said, “This will help me work even harder for our community. I have knowledge of Parkrose School District's history when they were last involved and will strive to protect our schools' reputation- statewide.”

Filing for Position 1 are lifelong Parkrose resident Mary Lu Baetkey, a retired teacher, who taught in the Portland and Parkrose school districts and Dave Carter, a journeyman produce worker at WinCo foods.

Baetkey, who also regularly attends Parkrose school board meetings said, “I am disappointed how the district treats its teachers and especially how the district performed recently refurbishing Prescott, Shaver [elementary schools] and Russell [Academy].” She added, “The superintendent and the [current] school board mean well, but I think I have invaluable experience that can help the district as it moves ahead with its construction projects.”

Carter serves on the district's bond oversight, wellness and superintendent's parent advisory committees, as well as the Parkrose music boosters.

However, it is a three-way race for Position 5 as east Portland business owner Bruce Altizer, David Douglas School District teacher Erick Flores, and former Parkrose School District Educational Assistant Heather Simoneau, now a kindergarten teacher in the Gresham-Barlow district, all filed to run.

In David Douglas, five of seven board positions (1, 2, 3, 5 and 6) are up for election; one position (5) is for a two-year term ending June 30, 2015, and the other four board positions have four-year terms ending June 30, 2017.

Current school board chair Donn Gardner and vice chair Cheryl Scarcelli Ancheta have both filed to retain their seats. Scarcelli Ancheta faces Army retiree and financial planner Johnny Walker, while Gardner (Mark's brother), is unopposed.

Robert Zeller, general manager for Thermal Coatings International filed to run for Position 3 against Krista Dennis, who is on the David Douglas Citizens Advisory Committee and works as a sales associate with Auto Trader magazine. Kyle Riggs, who was appointed to the Position 5 seat when Mike Price resigned, is unopposed.

Homemaker and political newcomer Shannon Raybold filed for Position 6. Incumbent Annette Mattson did not file for re-election.

Four of seven positions on the Reynolds School Board are up for election, all with four-year terms ending June 30, 2017.

Incumbents Robert Lee and Joe Teeny, Positions 1 and 4 respectively, have filed for re-election.

Only Teeny faces an opponent, former Nike employee Jake Woolsey, a 2012 Reynolds graduate.

As incumbent Theresa Delaney Davis is not running for re-election, John Lindenthal, Multnomah County's Capital Improvement Program manager and Reynolds Budget and Finance Committee member, runs unopposed for the Position 3.

Juan Diego Hernandez, a teacher with Elevate Oregon and Reynolds Finance and Audit Committee member, filed for school board chair Valerie Tewksbury's Position 4; she chose not to run.
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