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Gresham-Barlow narrows board candidates to 3

The Gresham-Barlow School Board will appoint a new board member Thursday, Nov. 2, during its regular monthly board meeting.

The open position was created earlier this year, after Director Mike Hill resigned, citing a need for more personal time.

The board had six applicants and, after conducting initial interviews, narrowed the pool to three applicants. These are:

• Dale Clark - A 35-year East County resident who averages more than 60 hours a year in volunteer time inside local schools. Clark is a father of three and two of his children attend West Orient Middle School. He has coached soccer for six seasons and is on the East Side United Football Club's board of directors.

Clark says the biggest issues facing the district are volatile budget funding and growth in the district. 'I know there is a large bond issue in the district's future and it will be important to get the word out on how important it is for all families to fund our growth,' Clark says.

• Steve Saari - A retired educator with more than 28 years' experience in Gresham schools as a teacher, counselor, athletic director, supervisor, assistant principal and principal, Saari says he likes to stay active and has continued to teach throughout his retirement.

Some of Saari's most important issues regarding the Gresham-Barlow School District include stable funding; balancing students' needs with money available; local options for funding; and growth in the district.

'The way we deal with (growth in the district) will show the community that we are thoughtful and fair in location of schools, changing boundaries and dealing with the transition that comes with those changes. Communication is key,' Saari says.

• Kent Zook - Zook is a field sales engineer for Idec Corporation and says he is skilled in computer systems and working in team situations.

Zook is active in a variety of local boards. He is the chairman of the Portland Community College's Machine Manufacturing Technology Advisory Board; is on the National Association of Eagle Scouts, Boy Scouts of America; and has served on the executive board of the Portland Area Ski Council Recreational Racing League.

The Gresham-Barlow School District Board of Directors will meet at 7 p.m. Thursday, Nov. 2, in the Public Safety and School Building, 1331 N.W. Eastman Parkway, Gresham.