My name is Amy Hanlon Newell and it is my pleasure to endorse David Newell, my husband, for state senate. I am a lifelong resident of this area and a proud 1993 graduate of West Linn High School. Born in Portland, my first home was in Lake Grove, and, excepting my college years and the two years at the start of my career, I have lived in West Linn or Wilsonville since I was 2. I love Oregon, and everything it has given me, from my love of nature, to my great public education.
I met David while at MIT. Even then, David's commitment to the education of our nation's children was apparent. While at MIT, David volunteered in the Cambridge Public Schools, helping teach science enrichment classes in urban elementary schools and guiding teachers in the writing of computer literacy lesson plans for students who had no technology experience.
David quickly became a loyal Oregonian as we were making plans for our life together. When I was applying to graduate schools, he didn't hesitate to agree to OHSU and Oregon as our home. My husband always tells people about the clean taste of the air the first time he stepped foot in Oregon.
David's work with children continued when we moved to Oregon. David and I became Sunday school teachers and have recently retired from five years of leading weekly small groups for InnerFire Cooperative Youth Ministry. David took on a role not only of fostering the growth of faith in these teens, but also of guiding them to successful academic decisions in their secondary education. We're very proud that all of the youth we worked with are in college pursuing futures they are excited about.
Last year, David and I became the co-presidents of the MIT Club of Oregon. One of our first initiatives has been to work with the Lemelson-MIT Foundation and Saturday Academy helping recruit volunteers and raise awareness for InventTeams, a grant program that funds teachers and their students to invent solutions to problems in our world. It is David's goal for the MIT club to have an active and positive involvement in the science and technology education of the students of Oregon.
As MIT educational counselors, David and I have been honored to interview Oregon high school students who are applying to MIT. I'm most amazed, not by their atmospheric test scores or grades in advanced classes, but the passion that they channel into their other pursuits. It is exciting to see the possibilities for our state's future shine in these students. David's commitment to supporting and improving our schools and expanding the opportunities available to Oregon's students is bolstered by his time spent with these students. He hopes to provide as many roads as possible for Oregon's kids to pursue the opportunities they are most passionate about.
As a man who spent a great deal of his personal time investing in our nation's youth, David believes we need to invest in our neighborhood public schools to ensure our children have a world-class education and can compete in a global economy. David has unique ideas to reform Oregon's high schools that will guarantee a longer school year, reduce teacher burnout, add electives back to the classroom, secure more money for our teachers and help engage students' passions without raising taxes.
When the MIT alumnus celebrate with admitted MIT students and congratulate them and their families, I always end up telling at least one concerned mother, '3,000 miles is a long way. They may not come home for Thanksgiving, but David and I are proof that often they do come back to Oregon.'
David wants to build an Oregon that our children are proud of and will always want to come back to.