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Meet Hillsboros school board candidates

Position 1:

• A. Richard Vial

Age: 58

What’s the biggest challenge facing the Hillsboro School District?

“Finding and retaining teachers who are prepared, committed and who love students. There is no greater challenge than to improve our instructional quality.”

Vial believes that the district’s strategic plan, while well written and comprehensive, is not focused. He would “use a laser focus on the classroom … Success depends on one fundamental thing. Instructional quality.”

Occupation: Lawyer; Vial & Fotheringham LLP

Personal: Vial and his wife, Paula, have raised 13 children. Four of his grandchildren attend school in the Hillsboro School District. He enjoys bird photography.

• Janeen Sollman — incumbent. Elected in 2009.

Age: 43

What’s the biggest challenge facing the Hillsboro School District?

“The instability of our school budgets and lack of adequate funding has taken a toll on the level of service we can provide, which included smaller class sizes and a full school year.”

Sollman wants all students in the school district ready for the “13th year,” the year after graduation, whether they choose college or a career.

Occupation: Recycling and materials coordinator; Vernier Software & Technology

Personal: Sollman and her husband have two sons. One graduated from Liberty High School and one is a sophomore. She is a trained Master Recycler.

Position 2:

• Jaime Rodriguez

Age: 50

What’s the biggest challenge facing the Hillsboro School District?

“Regaining adequate and stable funding is the biggest challenge to our district … Unfunded mandates from the state and federal government only add to our financial difficulties and divert money from educating our kids. We have to find ways to dramatically upgrade our technology.”

Rodriguez is concerned with inadequate funding for schools and has developed relationships with legislators in Salem. “It makes a difference when legislators are talking with someone they know and trust,” he said. “I want to add my voice to the solution and add diversity to the board with my skills.”

Occupation: Career Specialist, Portland Community College

Personal: Rodriguez has a daughter who attends Century High School. He served from 1982-1988 in the California National Guard.

• Miklosch “Mik” Sander

Age: 32

What’s the biggest challenge facing the Hillsboro School District?

“The biggest challenge is clearly funding, which has been reduced to ridiculously low levels in recent years. We need to do a better job advocating for education in Salem, and increasing the educational budget overall.”

Sander served as president of City View Charter School, the school district’s only charter school. He’s a strong advocate for parental involvement in the schools. “Without participation from the parents in the district, we’ll never be able to achieve the change we need to see.” Sander said he’s “not afraid to meet issues head on.”

Occupation: IT consultant

Personal: Sander has three children enrolled in Hillsboro schools, two at City View Charter School and one at Liberty High School.

• Glenn D. Miller

Age: 48

What’s the biggest challenge facing the Hillsboro School District?

“Well, the budget is the obvious one. It overshadows everything else of concern … So my message to Salem is to just reprioritize two percent back into the education system. You can do that. If you do, we won’t lay off 50 teachers …”

Miller is hopeful about PERS reform working its way through the state Legislature. It’s not enough though, he said. He’d like to see younger employees in the public school system “moving toward a 401K system; a (retirement) package the public really can afford.”

Occupation: Senior business systems analyst; Viasystems

Personal: Two children, the oldest of whom will graduate from Liberty High School in June.

Position 6:

• Rebecca Lantz — incumbent. Elected in 2005.

Age: 52

What’s the biggest challenge facing the Hillsboro School District?

“Hillsboro School District faces many challenges, but our first priority is student achievement … Striving to close the achievement gap and assure all students are college and career ready demands the attention of every stakeholder in our community.”

Lantz believes “instruction, with equity as an emphasis, should remain the priority” focus of the district’s strategic plan. “We have instituted major parts of the plan, including a serious focus on literacy, ELL and dual language instruction.

Occupation: Homemaker, volunteer

Personal: Lantz and her husband, Philip have three children. Two have graduated from Glencoe High School and gone on to Willamette University. The third will be a freshman at Glencoe next year, after being home-schooled for middle school.

• Erik Seligman

Age: 43

What’s the biggest challenge facing the Hillsboro School District?

“I believe the biggest challenge is educational opportunity: Many parents believe their children are not well served by their current schools, but see no way out due to the strict geographic partitioning and limited alternative options that are current district policy.”

Further, Seligman said he would like to see the district’s charter school be allowed to expand (it has a waiting list) and make plans for more charter and magnet school options in the district. “Cut the bureaucracy to the bone before taking away from classrooms,” Seligman said.

Occupation: Engineer at Intel

Personal: Seligman's daughter attends first grade at Carden Cascade Academy in Hillsboro.

Position 3:

• Incumbent Monte Akers is running unopposed. He was appointed in 2011 after Patti McLeod resigned from the board.



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