by: Shannon Wells Linda Degman manages Portland Community College’s $374 million capital construction bond program, bringing a connection to higher education.

Linda Degman will be the Beaverton School Board's newest member.

In a unanimous vote, board members Tuesday night appointed Degman to fill the Zone 7 seat Cedar Hills resident Lisa Shultz vacated in November, when she announced she was resigning for personal reasons.

Degman, who serves as the associate director of the $374 million capital construction bond program at Portland Community College, will take up her new board responsibilities at the March 12 meeting, after being sworn into office.

The mother of a 4-year-old daughter, freshman son at Sunset High School, four older children who graduated from Sunset and another who graduated from Merlo Station High School, first sought the Zone 7 board position when she ran against Shultz in 2007.

Her involvement in the years following her previous bid for the public office was just one of the qualities that appealed to the board.

'I am absolutely thrilled with our choice,' said Board Chairwoman LeeAnn Larson, following the meeting. 'We had such great candidates who stepped up to fill this position.

'I'm really excited about Linda joining us. She adds a dimension we have not had with her link to higher education. She also brings budgeting experience with her job and a deep understanding of our district.'

Degman was one of the six applicants interviewed by the board Jan. 30. Eight candidates originally applied for the position.

Tuesday's meeting marked the first time board members had discussed the candidates since the interviews.

As the six board members placed their cards on the table to announce their top two choices for the open post, Degman emerged as the clear front-runner, earning nominations from each of them.

Michele Sandstrom, Indi Petranek-McHugh and Mary Duncan also were among district leaders' top choices.

Board member Sarah Smith said she was impressed with Degman's 'passion and commitment to education.'

'Her knowledge of the district is deep and broad,' added Karen Cunningham. 'I appreciate her continued involvement after running for the board.'

Degman has been an active volunteer at her children's schools over the years, working in classrooms, helping teachers with administrative duties, serving on Meadow Park Middle School's local school committee, serving as a booster at Sunset and coordinating three senior graduation night events at the high school.

In her application letter, Degman said, 'Our school district is going to continue to have tough choices to make with limited resources all the while providing a quality education for all kids at varying levels within the schools. I want to be a part of working with other board members, district staff and parents to help guide how we meet all the needs of our kids.'

Degman, who was in the room as she was discussed, thanked the board for selecting her for the position.

'I know this was a tough decision,' she told the board, referring to the highly qualified pool of candidates it had to choose from for the Zone 7 position.

She said she appreciated being given the opportunity to serve the district until she can run for election to the post in May 2013 for the remainder of the term, which ends June 30, 2015.

'There are tough times ahead, but we can get through this,' Degman said.

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