Riedel wants school board transparency; Schultz looks to ways to increase enrollment

In the face of severe budget cuts and the impending retirement of Estacada School District Superintendent Howard Fetz, the School Board will have to tackle daunting challenges for the 2013-14 school year.

Angela Riedel and Tim Schultz are vying for the Zone 1 position. It’s a four- year term.

Angela Riedel

Riedel served as director of Zone 1 for three years, but left the position when she accepted a job as an Estacada School District nurse.

Angela Riedel“One of the things I’m seeking is transparency. A board that reads up on topics before they go (to the meetings) but that is willing to come to meetings and discuss topics in public,” Riedel said.

She explained that in her previous tenure as a board member, decisions were often made outside of the public board meeting format.

If four or more school board members meet, it’s called a quorum and must legally be a public meeting.

However, if fewer than four members meet or speak on the phone, that conversation would not have to be made public.

In Riedel’s prior board experience, it seemed to her that too many decisions were reached in private before the public board meetings.

She pointed to the lack of discussion before voting at current board meetings as an indication it may be a continuing problem.

“The people that take the time to go to the meeting deserve to know your rationale behind the decision,” she said. “If they have a question, they deserve to have an answer.”

As of April 1, 2013, Fetz retired from the PERS system. He will work as the superintendent of the Estacada School District until June 30, 2014. The school board will have to select a new superintendent during the 2013-14 school year.

Riedel’s ideal superintendent candidate would have small town experience and “a level of professionalism and respect.”

She is looking for, “Someone who isn’t afraid to make tough decisions and be present in the district as far as support for the administration and staff.”

She is willing to look outside the school district.

Riedel graduated from Estacada High School and received a bachelor’s degree in nursing at the University of Portland and a bachelor’s degree in social science at Portland State University.

Since her return, she has lived in Estacada for more than a decade.

“You have to be present in the community to have a pulse on what’s going on in the community. You can’t just show up for a board meeting once a month,” Riedel said.

Riedel is the mother of three children who went to school in the Estacada School District. One of her children is enrolled at Clackamas River Elementary and another goes to Estacada Junior High School.

“My vested interest is definitely for the children,” she said.

Riedel pointed out that her experience as a school nurse gives her an employee perspective on the district as well.

Riedel is now an emergency room nurse at Legacy Health.

“I deal with crisis all the time. That’s my job. I work in an ER. I am able to deal with situations with a lot of stress and a lot of emotions,” she said.

“I’m really excited about the opportunity for a new fresh group of people to come in that have kids in the school district. And the opportunity for positive change and open communication. We need to have people that are willing to communicate and make decisions that are the best for the kids,” Riedel said of her candidacy.

Riedel is running against Tim Schultz, the incumbent for Zone 1.

Tim Schultz

Schultz has been a school board member for two years.

“Now that I’ve been on the school board for a number of years I feel comfortable with my role ... and I want to be involved in the community and make improvements at the high school and the whole school district. We’re on the verge of making a lot of improvements and I’d like to be a part of that,” Schultz said.

He cites “being part of rebranding of the district and encouraging more enrollment” and “being part of the successful repurposing of River Mill” as his biggest accomplishments as a school board member to date.

Tim SchultzHe explained that the current school board is working on opening charter schools, offering online classes and more electives at the high school in order to make the district more attractive and increase enrollment.

“As a board we’re attempting to make the district more attractive to people in other districts. More enrollment means more funding,” he said. “If we could somehow get enrollment up I would like to see the music and sports programs reinstated at the elementary and junior high level.”

He sees increasing enrollment as the best strategy to combat daunting budget cuts.

“I think we’ve done all we can do as far as addressing budget issues, “ he said. “I’m hoping that with enrollment and a new charter school we can keep the current budget so no more cuts are forthcoming.”

Schultz’ ideal superintendent candidate would be “one who is a good administrator. Familiar with administering to the school and dealing with legal issues and good with staff. Outgoing, has new ideas, and a proven fiduciary track record.”

Schultz has lived in Eagle Creek for 11 years. He has a daughter who is a sophomore at Estacada High School. His older son and daughter graduated from Estacada High School.

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