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Mt. Hood looks ahead to May 21 board election

Two candidates are in the race for Zone 2 of the Mt. Hood Community College Board of Directors.

James Zordich, a former Los Angeles museum curator, and Ron Weisdorfer, a retired educator, will vie for the four-year term on the board of directors.

The election for Mt. Hood Community College School Board positions will be held Tuesday, May 21. Ballots will be mailed to voters on May 3.

New directors for zones 1, 2, 4 and 7 will take their positions July 1, with terms running through June 30, 2017. The candidates for other zones will be featured in future issues of The Outlook.

Ron Weisdorfer

WEISDORFER

When Ron Weisdorfer’s neighbor, Jerry Lyons, faculty adviser of the Ford ASSET program at MHCC, encouraged him to run for the college’s school board, Weisdorfer realized what a logical step that would be.

Weisdorfer says his background in education, business and the Army, along with his experience with the teacher’s unions, give him a comprehensive understanding of education.

“I think the role of a community college in the 21st century has changed,” Weisdorfer said. “If you listen to the president, he’ll say there are 5 million jobs sitting out there, waiting to be filled. They can’t fill them because they don’t have people trained to do the jobs. We need to get businesses and high schools more involved in solving that job deficit.”

He said the announcement of Debra Derr as the MHCC president tells him something about MHCC — “That it can attract a high quality candidate who has already made it to the top.”

Weisdorfer came to Gresham as a high school junior and lived on his family’s mink ranch. After receiving his master’s degree in education, Weisdorfer was drafted into the U.S. Army. He continued with the Army Reserve during his 36 years as a teacher with Gardener Middle School in Oregon City.

Having been on both sides of teacher labor negotiations, Weisdorfer is confident he can help facilitate negotiations without reaching a strike. Weisdorfer would like to see administrators keep the classroom pulse by continuing to teach.

Weisdorfer has three children from his first marriage; one stepdaughter through his wife; and seven grandchildren. He belongs to the Rose City Corvettes and is part of the Drivers Ed Impact Panel through Clackamas Community College, educating young drivers about the dangers of impaired drivers.

James Zordich

ZORDICH

For 18 years, James Zordich’s wife has worked as an administrator for the humanities department at MHCC. This spurred him to volunteer for the MHCC Foundation.

“I have had the opportunity to be involved with a large group of people from the college who all have differing views about the college,” Zordich said. “The college is on the verge of major change, and the appointment of a new president who has a dynamic view, I think, will improve the position of the college considerably. I want to be seriously involved in the future of Mt. Hood Community College.”

Zordich said his experience working in a public museum has given him a solid grasp of governmental intricacies, from the administration down to the college budget.

One of his goals as a board member is to be visible on campus, and not just for ceremonial purposes.

“I believe strongly in visibility,” Zordich said. “I want to be available to people who want to express feelings and concerns. Mt. Hood can be seen as the forgotten little college. It needs to do a better job promoting itself and making potential students understand what’s available to them. It takes more than a college catalog to sell a college.”

He said the board has an unenviable position to finalize its budget before May with three bargaining units and that there is some disagreement about where community colleges such as MHCC should be going.

As a student who attended community college, Zordich says community college can be a major psychological stepping stone for students.

“MHCC is not as humongous or diversified as Portland Community College — it’s a more intimate enterprise,” Zordich said. “I want it to be there for my grandson.”

Zordich and his wife have one daughter and two grandchildren. He’s a member of the Portland Horseless Carriage Club.



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