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Candidates focus on tech, career education

Happy Valley resident Steven Schroedl is challenging longtime North Clackamas School Board member Vivian Scott in the May 21 special election.

In 2007, Schroedl joined the governing board for Cascade Heights Public Charter School, where two of his three children are in attendance. Scott’s son attended Ardenwald Elementary, Rowe Middle School and Milwaukie High School, during which time she volunteered on the schools’ councils and as a music booster. She served on the district Budget Committee for three years before her School Board election in 2005.

Both candidates say that they’re not interested in a polarizing debate over charter schools. Schroedl points out that “public” is embedded into Cascade Heights’ full school name, and Scott wants folks to know that she’s supported the creation of four charter schools to support unique needs of children.

“I’m not a normal board candidate,” Schroedl said. “I applaud anyone who’s willing to donate their time and full-time energy for no pay, but if I had been on the board, I would have done things much differently.”

Scott, a former employment service manager for Oregon Tradeswomen Inc., holds a master’s degree in education and bachelor’s in liberal arts from Humboldt State University. She considers it an honor to serve on the School Board.

“I have a demonstrated commitment to a robust public education system,” she said.

However, she acknowledges that there continues to be “urgent and challenging work ahead” due to several years in a row of state budget cuts.

“I believe that we are still looking at innovative ways to educate kids, because part of what a robust public education system like North Clackamas’ can provide is those strong alternative programs,” she said.

Schroedl’s holding company Kikaua contains VeriLAN, Sympose, Chime Software and Third Rock Impressions. One of his larger companies, VeriLAN, was built from the building blocks he learned from attending the Sabin Skill Center IT back in 1982. VeriLAN provided software and network services required for technical conferences that take place worldwide.

Schroedl says all of his companies have synergy with each other, and he finds that the deeper he digs into technological services, the more opportunities he identifies. Attending an April 11 meeting of the district’s budget committee, he heard that new testing will require a $1.5 million investment in technology to test students, but he calculated a way to do it for closer to $1 million.

“We need an IT geek on the School Board because our teachers and other staff unions have been asked to take tremendous cuts,” he said. “Have our vendors been asked to sharpen their pencils in terms of the efficiency of the services they’ve been providing the district?”

Given the district’s financial challenges, Scott said she remains committed to Career Technical Education; fiscal responsibility and accountability; community involvement, transparency and business partnerships; and innovative strategies for long-term financial stability.

Voter forum

Learn more about the candidates on the May 21 ballot at a voter-information forum on Tuesday, April 30, at 7 p.m. in the main auditorium at Willamette View, 12705 S.E. River Road.

Meet candidates for Clackamas Community College, Clackamas Education Service District, North Clackamas School District and Clackamas Fire District Board positions. Jeffrey Davis is challenging CFD Board appointee John Blanton. Michael Wilson is challenging CCC Board appointee Greg Chaimov.

Reminder: April 30 is the deadline for voter registrations. Registration forms are available online at oregonvotes.org. Ballots for the May 21 election will be mailed May 1. They must be returned by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21.




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