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Dixon wins tie-breaker for NCSD board seat


by: PHOTO COURTESY: NCSD - Daryl DixonDaryl Dixon, a Milwaukie resident who is chief diversity and equity officer for Multnomah County, will replace Cheryl Myers, who resigned the North Clackamas School District Board in January after becoming the state of Oregon’s minority, women and emerging small-business advocate.

“I’m really excited and honored about the opportunity to continue to serve,” Dixon said. “I have much respect for the board and our new superintendent, and I’m also really excited about what he’s going to do for the district.”

In a dramatic sequence Thursday night to appoint Dixon, Board Chairman Rein Vaga broke a tie by reversing his vote right before Linda Moraga announced her own intention not to run for re-election in May.

Since 2005, when Moraga was elected, she’s seen the birth of two grandchildren, and she’d like more time to visit them in Denver.

“I had a lot of fun on the board, and it will be hard to leave,” she said.

Clackamas County Business and Community Services Director Gary Barth, OnPoint Community Credit Union banker Tory McVay and Dixon, whose four children graduated from the district, all made it to a second round of voting on Jan. 7 after School Board members each marked ballots for three of seven candidates who applied.

“We’re a well-balanced board,” Vaga said.

Board members then asserted their preference to narrow down the field of candidates, with Trisha Claxton and Kyle Walker also twice marking a preference for McVay on their ballot.

After the deadlock was established, each board member presented arguments for their choice. If the tie remained after the third and final round of voting, they agreed that the appointment would have to be postponed.

Vivian Scott argued for Dixon’s professional background in education, saying “those experiences more reflect the district’s vision.” From 2008 to 2011, Dixon was employed as NCSD’s community engagement coordinator, leading a program that works to engage a diversity of parents and students across the district, including Latino, Russian, Vietnamese and African American ethnic groups.

Linda Moraga and Sam Gillispie said both candidates interviewed well, but Dixon had slightly better answers. In answering a question of what he sees as the top three priorities of the district, Dixon said he agreed with those set forth by Superintendent Matt Utterback: literary, quality instruction and equity.

After switching his vote, Vaga congratulated Dixon and suggested that McVay could apply for the seat to be vacated by Moraga. Vaga noted that he would have been happy to see either candidate as a member of the School Board.

Dixon intends to run for election in May.