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Barman, Wallin say they'll run for open school board seats

Candidates have until March 19 to file for May's special election

WALLINTwo candidates have wasted no time in deciding to run for seats on the Lake Oswego School Board, tossing their hats into the ring as soon as the filing period for the May 19 special election opened.

Bob Barman, 57, turned in his paperwork Monday for position 5, the seat he currently occupies. Former Lake Oswego Schools Foundation vice president John Wallin, 49, will run for position 1, the board seat currently held by Patti Zebrowski. Zebrowski has said she will not seek another four-year term.

Candidates have until March 19 to file for one of the two open slots on the five-person volunteer board. As of Wednesday morning, no one else had done so.

Barman, who has college-age twin sons, said he is running for a second term to support an ongoing effort to improve student achievement and make LOSD an even stronger competitor with districts throughout the country. He’d also like to be involved in plans to improve school facilities, an effort the board has said likely will necessitate the support of a capital construction bond.

“We have got to figure out our long-term facilities and we have to do it right,” said Barman, who owns several area gas stations with his wife, Katy, “and what I mean by ‘right’ is that we don’t have an endless amount of money in this community to make multimillion-dollar mistakes.”

BARMANAmong the decisions facing the board: which elementary school buildings to keep and which to sell, as well as how best to address an estimated $24.11 million in deferred maintenance at the district’s elementary and junior high schools.

Wallin served with the Foundation from 2006 to 2013 as chairman of its communications committee and was an active leader in the local option school levy campaign in 2013. He is a senior technical writer for AppNexus, which provides the technology that allows for Internet advertising. He is familiar with advancements in technology and would like to help the district expand its tech curriculum, he says, because he believes it is a core piece of education.

“You can’t just add (technology) — it has to be planned,” he said.

Wallin and his wife, Ruth, have three children — a daughter who is a junior at Lake Oswego High School, a daughter who is a fifth-grader at Forest Hills and a son who is a freshman at University of Puget Sound.

Zebrowski said four of the five current school board members have children who have already graduated from high school and that she would like to pass the torch to someone with kids still in secondary school. When Zebrowski learned Wallin had filed, she officially announced her decision not to run again.

“I think John would make an excellent candidate for the school board,” she said. “He has been actively involved in the district and has shown leadership on both the Foundation board and during our last school levy campaign.”

When her term ends June 30, Zebrowski said she plans to spend more time with family and continue volunteering in education, with a focus on at-risk children.

“I have really enjoyed my time on the LOSD board and feel privileged to have served in a community that is so supportive of education,” she said.

Contact Jillian Daley at 503-636-1281 ext. 109 or jdaley@lakeoswegoreview.com.

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