Gov. John Kitzhaber pushed for bill that created new oversight group
by:  Yvonne Curtis

Forest Grove schools superintendent Yvonne Curtis is one of 13 appointees to the newly-created Oregon Education Investment Board.

Gov. John Kitzhaber signed Senate Bill 909 in June, establishing the 13-member board with overseeing all levels of state public education. Kitzhaber advocated for the bill as part of his goals to reform state education.

The full board roster includes:

• Richard C. 'Dick' Alexander, board chair of Capital Pacific Bank, board member of the Children's Institute and leader in the Ready for School campaign to ensure early childhood success;

• Julia Brim-Edwards, director for U.S. states/global strategy for Nike, Inc. government and public affairs, co-founder of the Nike school innovation fund and former co-chair of the Portland School Board;

• Yvonne Curtis, superintendent of Forest Grove School District and former member of the Oregon Quality Education Commission;

• Matthew W. Donegan, co-president of Forest Capital Partners and president of the Oregon State Board of Higher Education;

• Samuel D. Henry, of Troutdale, professor at Portland State University, former chair of the Oregon Commission on Children and Families and member of the Oregon Board of Education;

• Nichole Maher, executive director of the Native American Youth and Family Center in Portland and co-chair of the Communities of Color Coalition;

• Mark Mulvihill, superintendent of InterMountain Education Service District in Pendleton and member of the Oregon Quality Education Commission and the Vision and Policy Superintendent Task Force;

• David Rives, of Tigard, president of the American Federation of Teachers - Oregon and teacher of English to speakers of other languages at Portland Community College;

• Ron Saxton, executive vice president and chief administrative officer of Jeld-Wen Inc., and former chair of the Portland School Board;

• Mary Spilde, president of Lane Community College and co-chair of the Post-Secondary Quality Education Commission;

• Kay D. Toran, president and chief executive officer of Volunteers of America - Oregon and board member of the Oregon Community Foundation, University of Portland and the Chalkboard Project; and

• Johanna 'Hanna' Vaandering, vice president of the Oregon Education Association, elementary physical education teacher and chair of the OEA Foundation.

Mulvihill is the only appointee from outside the Willamette Valley, noted Pacific University politics and government professor Jim Moore.

'Brim-Edwards and Saxton are known for their education policy careers,' Moore said, adding that Curtis' selection likely was influenced by Kitzhaber's desire to include representatives from smaller Oregon school districts.

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