My name is Keith Steele and I serve as the chairman of this year’s West Linn-Wilsonville School District Board of Directors. I’m running in the May 21 election to serve for another four years on the school board and today I’m asking for your SUBMITTED - Keith Steele

My wife, Kimberly, and I have raised our kids in West Linn these past 16 years and have been very involved in the schools all the way through. Our son graduated from West Linn High School and we currently have a daughter at WLHS and another at Rosemont Ridge Middle School. All three of our kids have thrived in this community and in these schools.

My family has always placed a high value on public education and we know that it takes more than great teachers and excellent facilities to make a school system successful. It also takes hundreds of dedicated and caring parent volunteers in Wilsonville and West Linn to elevate our district from being really good to excellent.

Prior to being elected to the board in 2008, I volunteered on the district’s budget committee and co-chaired the campaign committee for the 2008 capital bond and local option levy. These measures were critical investments in our future and have been managed carefully for the maximum benefit to our children and accountability to our patrons. Just last week, the board unanimously approved a 2004 bond refinancing proposal that will save taxpayers approximately $800,000.

The trust and teamwork between our schools and surrounding communities are extraordinary and the envy of many districts throughout the state — I hear this frequently from my peers in other school districts.

In spite of very difficult financial times in recent years precipitated by the economic collapse, our schools continue to lead the way in the state of Oregon. Allow me to share a few highlights:

  • Our district has the highest graduation rate in the state among the 25 largest districts.
  • We are one of only a handful nearby districts that have a full academic year.
  • Our district has been able to maintain and even expand an already rich set of educational programs that provide opportunities for all students to be successful.
  • We are increasing our investments in science, mathematics, engineering and literacy instruction, making concerted new efforts to narrow achievement gaps and increase opportunities for underserved groups.
  • These and many other indicators of success, too numerous to enumerate here, do not happen by accident. They happen in large part because we have a focused and dedicated leadership team that is governed by an experienced and thoughtful community-elected school board. When you cast your vote for me in May, you are voting to continue our leadership, tradition of excellence and never-ending pursuit of cultivating the greatest thinkers and most thoughtful people for the world. Please support me and remember to mail your ballots early.

    Thank you for allowing me to serve this amazing district. It has been and continues to be a great honor.

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    Keith Steele is a West Linn resident and serves as chairman of the West Linn-Wilsonville School Board. He is seeking re-election to the school board.

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