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Winterhaven relocation issue spurs School Board candidate

On Wednesday, March 7th, Michele Schultz, who describes herself as a social worker and parent of two PPS students, filed to enter the race for the Portland Public Schools' School Board, representing Zone 2.

Michele adds that she has been the PTSA President at Winterhaven School in Brooklyn for two years, and was a participant in the district-sponsored 'community conversation' process last spring for Inner Southeast Portland.

She notes that she was 'an instrumental leader in the recent discussions that the Winterhaven parent community had with the Board of Education regarding future plans for expansion of Winterhaven.'

The School Board postponed Superintendent Vicki Phillips' plan to move the Winterhaven staff and students to another school location in outer east county for one year, but seems to believe itself committed to move Winterhaven away from the area in which over 50% of its students live by September of 2008.

Winterhaven is the Portland Public Schools' math, science, and arts magnet school. It draws from all over the district, but currently has no students enrolled from the east county area to which it may be moved.

While candidate Schultz says she commends all of the incumbents of the Board of Education for their service, she adds that she was inspired to run 'to ensure that voters have a clear choice of candidates in the election for Zone 2.'

Outlining her platform, she says she has three priorities: 'First is to continue to provide careful financial stewardship as PPS continues to budget responsibly. Second, there needs to be meticulous attention paid to the implementation of the numerous school reconfigurations that are underway. I want the board to ensure that adequate funding and support is available to facilitate the success of these changes. Lastly, I believe that we must raise our expectations about what our public schools can do, and how the community can be involved in shaping policy for the district.'