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Former school board member files for office

Community leader Linda Brown seeks a position on Clackamas Education Service District board

Photo Credit: REVIEW FILE PHOTO: VERN UYETAKE - Linda Brown, right, relaxes with Teri Oelrich, both of whom finished their terms on the Lake Oswego School Board in June 2013. Brown, who put in three four-year terms on the school board, is now running for an open at-large seat with the Clackamas Education Service District Board.Former Lake Oswego School Board member Linda Brown has announced her candidacy for the at-large position on the Clackamas Education Service District board.

Brown, who has been a leader in local, state and national organizations, served three four-year terms on the school board — including two stints as chairwoman — before leaving in 2013. She filed the necessary paperwork for the May election on Friday, and at this point is running unopposed.

The deadline for candidates to file is March 19.

“I have a desire to take the knowledge that I’ve gained working on the school board and at the state level working with other school boards and administrators and put it to good use,” said Brown, 63.

CESD, which serves school districts (including Lake Oswego) across the county, has three open seats on its seven-person board. Two of the slots cover specific zones, but the at-large position Brown is seeking represents the entire county. Curtis Smith, who currently holds the at-large position, is not seeking another term.

“I’ve done it for 32 years, and I think it’s time to let somebody else try it for a while,” Smith said. “It’s been a good run. I’ve enjoyed serving on the board and seeing a lot of things accomplished over the years,” such as the practice of creating individualized education plans for special education students.

Like other education service districts, CESD by state law must give 90 percent of what it receives through the state school fund to the school districts it supports — a bundle of services that includes early childhood programs and evaluations for school-age children who may have disabilities to determine how best to adjust their education.

“I’d like to put my knowledge to use making sure that we can serve the needs of those youngest Oregonians,” Brown said. She added that helping special education students enter the workforce also is an important function of CESD.

“Her love of children and education is probably one of the key factors that has driven her for many years in serving on the board and volunteering,” Lake Oswego School Board member John Wendland said. “She’s also a wealth of knowledge on how the state of Oregon delivers education.”

Brown is a long-time volunteer on major boards and organizations. She has chaired the Oregon School Boards Association’s legislative policy committee as well as the Lakeridge High School auction, Women’s Coalition, Lake Oswego School District Budget Committee, Leadership Lake Oswego, Blue Heron Neighborhood Association and Tualatin Valley Television Board of Directors. She has served as president of the Pacer Club and of the Lake Oswego Women’s Club.

“It’s a desire ... to use what I’ve gained to make a difference for somebody,” Brown said. “To me, that’s a gift — to be able to serve.”

She also has been a member of several major groups, including the National School Boards Association pre-K advisory committee, the Federal Relations Network and the state’s Teachers Standards and Practices Commission. Her work with the OSBA also included time on the governance committee and Common Core Stewardship Standards Team.

In 2008, Brown made an unsuccessful bid for a seat in the Oregon House of Representatives.

“Her heart is in education, and it always has been,” said Peter Jurney, a former Lake Oswego School Board member.

Brown is currently a member of Lake Oswego Rotary Club and a board member of the Lakewood Center for the Arts. With Rotary, she’s played a key role in the recent Peace Pole installations and dictionary giveaways at area schools.

“She seems to be everywhere, and everything she takes on she follows through, whether it’s the Peace Poles or handing out the dictionaries,” said Ted Ricks, a Rotary Club member.

Brown also has been involved with Stand For Children in Lake Oswego, a grassroots education advocacy organization, and her volunteerism has included time with the Lake Oswego Asset Builders Coalition board and LO Neighborhood Action Coalition.

“She is one of those jewels in our community,” Wendland said.

Brown has lived in Lake Oswego since 1986, raising two Lakeridge High graduates. She spends her free time with her two grandchildren and husband Bob Brown, a former Intel manager.

By Jillian Daley
503-636-1281, ext. 109
email: jdaley@lakeoswegoreview.com
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