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The race is on for school board election May 17

Saito, Muller, Zimmerman in the running for an open seat on the WL-WV school board

For a long time it looked like Kasey Saito would be the only new face running for a post on the West Linn-Wilsonville school board in the May 17 Special District Election.

But then, at the eleventh hour, more candidates threw their hats in the ring, and it looks like we have a race.

For Position 1, the spot opened up by Jeff Hallin's recent retirement, the candidates include Saito, Cheri Zimmerman and Patricia Muller. This position is only for the remainder of Hallin's term, which is two years.

For Position 2, a four-year term, incumbent Mary Furrow, who is currently board chair, will run against Kristin Kewsick.

At Position 4, Rob Fernandez, who was appointed to the position when Lori Beight stepped down in August 2010, will face off with Betty Reynolds. This is also a four-year term.

Over the next two months, we will provide you with information on the candidates and their goals and ideas for the school board.

This week, we will feature two of the candidates for Position 1:

--- Kasey Saito was born in raised in Oregon, living in West Linn since he was five. He runs his own real estate company and volunteers as a soccer coach, tennis coach and snowboarding instructor.

'I want to be on the school board because it is the best way (I can think of) to make a difference. It is a way I can help shape the next generations,' Saito wrote on his website.

'The way I see it is, if I want to improve my life, my kids' lives and the lives of everyone around me, what better way than to get involved with the school?'

Saito has volunteered in the classrooms and served on the Site Council. He was on the committee that helped bring the Bolton Primary School community garden to life and was on the planning committee to remodel Bolton's Library.

His goal is to help make sure the WL-WV education system prepares students for whatever lies ahead. Saito believes that preparation is not just mastering the three R's, but learning to problem solve, critically think and work in a global community.

'I would like to support education that teaches kids the importance of making healthy, informed decisions and understands that human relationships are vital.'

Saito may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

--- Patricia Muller is currently in her 20th year as an educator. She has taught internationally in Ecuador, Mexico and Guatemala, and in the U.S. in the Woodburn, Salem-Keizer and McMinnville school districts.

Her experience includes technology, talented and gifted (TAG) and English As a Second Language (ESL) at the elementary, middle and high school levels.

'My primary goal as a school board member would be to ensure that each student receives a well-rounded education, spending our precious dollars wisely,' Muller said in an e-mail interview.

Muller has served on the Canby School District budget committee and with the school improvement process in previous districts.

'I decided to run because I feel that people with a background in education need to step up to the plate to help make decisions about education,' she said.

She said she looks forward to informed discussions about the issues facing the district, including Spanish immersion, teaching and working conditions and long-range planning for sustainable growth.

Muller may be contacted at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..