North Clackamas School Board members will face a highly qualified lineup of seven applicants to a vacated seat when they conduct interviews on Thursday, Jan. 31.

Just days before the deadline this month, district officials received four applications from Gary Barth of Oak Grove, Milwaukian Daryl Dixon, Dacia Hanson of unincorporated Happy Valley and Sonja Pauli of Oak Grove.

Barth, Clackamas County’s director of business and community services, runs the North Clackamas Parks and Recreation District. Since the two districts roughly share boundaries, he’d be looking to strengthen a “strong strategic alliance” for recreational programming and shared facilities.

As manager of the county’s Economic Development Department, he said he’s “highly aware” of the strong correlation between education and living-wage jobs. So he’ll be looking for ways to promote highly trained workers, as well as early childhood development and education, a subject in which his daughter, who graduated from Rex Putnam High School, went on to get an advanced degree.

Dixon, Multnomah County’s chief diversity and equity officer, worked as the NCSD community engagement coordinator from June 2008 to September 2012. Four of his children graduated from the district, he’s served on the district’s Diversity Task Force for 14 years, and he sits on the Budget Advisory Committee.

“I am interested in serving on the board because NCSD will be facing extreme economic challenges in the coming years,” he said. “Things will inevitably change, and I want to ensure that as we change, equity remains a priority for the district.”

Hanson brings understanding of NCSD educational issues as a former teacher, administrator, researcher and parent. Her top district goals include providing safe, “welcoming schools,” success at each grade level according to ability and “purposeful use of funds” to support district goals of ensuring quality education.

When asked how Hanson would measure success, she said she would seek high graduation and attendance rates; high percentages of students passing state reading assessments; teacher involvement in increasing their instructional expertise through courses and endorsement programs; more student involvement in extra-curricular activities; and increased parent involvement and satisfaction at all school levels.

Pauli, a former substitute teacher and high school counselor, want to reduce class sizes, “make every effort to place teachers in positions for which they are certified and best suited,” and offer curricula to prepare students for entry into all types of secondary educations of entry-level jobs.

“I view education to be in a crisis situation in which we are failing to prepare the next generation to take the leadership reins of our society,” she said. “Success in North Clackamas can be measured by regular attendance, tracking students to make sure they are achieving at their grade level, providing assistance to students in early grade levels before they fall too far behind and encouraging students to remain in school.”

Jennifer Lund of Clackamas, Tory McVay of Milwaukie and Steven Schroedl of Happy Valley applied earlier. See “Cheryl Myers resigns from North Clackamas School Board” (Dec. 12) and “Applicants sought for School Board” (Jan. 16) for more information.

School Board members plan to make an appointment on Thursday, Feb. 7, a week after this week’s interviews.

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