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Field set for May 19 school board election

Betty Reynolds to stand for re-election, Chelsea Martin files for open seat

The field is set for the West Linn-Wilsonville School Board election, with two positions on the ballot for the May 2015 special election and two candidates running unopposed.

REYNOLDSKristen Kewsick announced in February that she would not seek reelection to Position 2 on the board. At the same time, Betty Reynolds announced that she does intend to run again for Position 4.

Running to replace Kewsick will be Chelsea Martin, a political newcomer and mother of three students at Wilsonville’s Lowrie Primary School: fourth-grader Brennan and twin second-graders, Ruby and Jai.

MARTINMartin is a leadership and organizational development coach working primarily with small businesses and nonprofit organizations. She lives with her husband Brady, a West Linn High School graduate, in the Stafford Basin between the cities of West Linn and Wilsonville.

Her involvement in the school district began in the classroom and the parent-teacher group at her son’s school. When her younger children were preparing to enter kindergarten at Lowrie in 2012, she was elected president of the new school’s PTA.

“Largely people that I did not know selected me,” she recalled. “I felt energized.”

Martin served as president for two years and earned recognition from Oregon PTA for her leadership during that time.

“I like taking on leadership roles like president,” she said. “I’m comfortable at that level.”

Martin was appointed by the school board in February to WL-WV’s budget committee, a citizen advisory group, and is now seeking elected office for the first time.

“The PTA, being involved at that level, introduced me to what happens at the school level,” she said. “The PTA taught me advocacy and how to look at the needs of the entire school community. That raised my perspective from the classroom level to the more macro level and got me interested in what happens at the district level. Going to that first budget meeting and starting to think about the budget level and what 9,000 students need ... I just feel like I’m ready to start to serve our entire West Linn-Wilsonville community at that level.”

If elected, Martin said she would bring with her an understanding of the student population’s diversity.

“I think our district does a good job of providing programs and opportunities to meet the needs of our diverse student body,” she said. “Our administrators and teachers have to find a way to connect all these kids into our curriculum over time, in a meaningful way. I want to continue that commitment.”

The election will be held May 19.

By Patrick Malee
503-636-1281 ex
email: pmalee@westlinntidings.com
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