There's an important election coming up on May 21, for two positions on the Tigard-Tualatin School Board. While many of you might think that school board positions are not all that pivotal for the community, speaking as a past 16-year member of the TTSD School Board: they're enormous.
There is one candidate, a young man that I have known for over 10 years, who has my unwavering support, and I hope you will support and vote for him, too: Ben Bowman.
Your school board sets the tone, temperament and direction of the entire school district. They write and approve all district policies. They approve the yearly Tigard-Tualatin District budget (just shy of $500 million total dollars). They hire and direct the superintendent, and write the district's Strategic Plan, the blueprint that the superintendent implements and follows. They approve all of the district's bond measures and other school-related public taxes. All this and much more, for Oregon's ninth largest school district.
Pulling this off is like flying an airplane with 13,000 kids on board: take-offs, sustained flight and smooth landings are paramount.
So, top-flight, engaged and highly qualified board members, acting as your TTSD pilots, are crucial. Ben Bowman can and will "fill the bill" in every respect.
Ben Bowman is a Tualatin native, a product of the Tigard-Tualatin school system, graduating from Tualatin High School in 2010. Ben then went to the University of Oregon, majored in political science and graduated cum laude in 2016. He took several education policy positions after college, one as a staffer for State Rep. Margaret Doherty (chair of the House Education Committee and a Tigard resident), to gain legislative experience and help him really learn about K-12 school and governmental "ins and outs."
Ben then decided to continue his formal education and was accepted into the very prestigious Education Policy Program at Stanford University, where he earned his master's degree. He now lives in Tigard and works as a legislative advocate.
Ben is a huge student advocate, and has amassed a large, diverse and enthusiastic group of both Tigard and Tualatin High School students who are organizing and spearheading his school board candidacy. He has the endorsement of the Tigard-Tualatin teachers, King City Mayor Ken Gibson, Rep. Doherty, Tigard Mayor Jason Snider, and a notable group of local community leaders. He is a staunch supporter of the arts, music and athletics, and has a vision for what a complete/well-rounded education for every student in the district really looks like, including career &technical education, and civics.
Ben will bring intelligence, a never-tiring work ethic, public education policy savvy, and a commitment to all of TTSD's students, their families and the entire TTSD community to the school board. Through his impressive student coalition, he really knows what's going on inside your schools. Ben is totally equipped and prepared to respond to both student and parent concerns, and to make their TTSD K-12 public education experience the very best in Oregon.
As one of your past TTSD board members, I firmly believe that there is not now, nor has there been, any person better prepared, better suited, or more qualified to be chosen as one of your TTSD School Board Members than Ben Bowman ... with one exception: my dear friend and colleague, the late Art Rutkin. Ben is about as close as anyone could get to that "Rutkin standard" of public education excellence and devotion ... just a bit younger.
So please join me in voting for Ben Bowman for TTSD Position 2, and elect Ben as one of your TTSD School Board members. You and the entire TTSD community will be very glad you did.
Barry Albertson is a past TTSD School Board member (2001-2016).
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.