School boards govern public schools. When it comes to how taxpayer dollars are spent, what curriculum teachers use and more, they are the ultimate decision-making body—the real bosses of the schools.
So, it goes without saying that the choice of who to elect for each of the seven volunteer positions that make up a board is an important one. Like communities across Oregon, Canby will make that choice for the open positions on May 21.
Canby School District's current board members are: Rob Sheveland, Tom Scott, Sara Magenheimer, Mike Zagyva, Diane Downs, Andrea Weber and Angi Dilkes.
The members, who meet at least twice monthly, are elected to 4-year terms.
Three of the current members' terms expire in June of this year: Sheveland's, Weber's and Downs's. Downs is the only one not seeking reelection, and several community members jumped at the opportunity to fill the spot.
"I am very pleased that there are such strong candidates for the position I've held on the board," Downs said. "It's been an honor to serve the school district for three terms, and now it's time for someone else to bring fresh energy to the board."
Sheveland is running unopposed, and despite what may appear in the voter's pamphlet, Weber is also running unopposed. Canby small business owner Stefani Carlson originally planned to challenge Weber, but has decided to withdraw, she said. Carlson did not inform the election office in time, so her information will still be printed in the pamphlet.
Here is a glance at your candidates.
Rob Sheveland – Position 1
Sheveland has been serving in Position 1 since 2015. He holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Portland and is an executive director at Providence Health and Services.
He is the father of one current Canby student and two former. He is also the husband of a Canby teacher.
"As a spouse to an educator teaching in the district, I understand how critical it is that our teachers and school staff receive the support they require in order to be successful in the classroom," Sheveland said in his voter's pamphlet statement.
During his time on the board, the board has updated curriculum and added full-time counselors at each school, he said in the statement. But he said he knows there is more to do, like improve student test scores and the high school graduation rate, and "ensure an equitable education for all throughout our district."
Dawn Depner – Position 5
The first of the candidates vying for the position being vacated by Downs is Depner, who studied business at Eastern Montana College and is a financial adviser for Voya Financial.
Depner has five children who have been in Canby schools, including one who still attends Canby High. Her family founded Operation Snuggle ten years ago, a community event that provides blankets to children in houseless situations.
"It may not be enough to simply provide a blanket to a homeless child, but it unites a community and sheds light on our homeless population right here in Canby," Depner said in her voter's pamphlet statement.
Depner served on the Canby Fire District for seven years, currently serves on the Aurora Fire Board and was named "Citizen of the Year" in 2012 by the Oregon Education Association.
Angie Miles – Position 5
Miles holds a Bachelor of Science in interior design and business from Oregon State University and is the co-owner of Whiskey Hill Plants.
Her family has lived in Canby for generations. She has two children who currently attend elementary school in Canby. She has volunteered at their school for five years and served as secretary for the Parent Teacher Organization for the last two years.
"Over countless hours working in the classroom and at school events, I've gotten to know and partner closely with my kids' classmates and my fellow parents," Miles said in her voter's pamphlet statement.
She added, "My No. 1 priority is making sure that our kids are set up for success with a well-rounded foundation of academics, personal well-being and life skills."
Marine holds a Bachelor of Science in business from Oregon State University and is a branch manager for Mortgage Solutions Financial.
He has sent five children through Canby's schools, and they have all become "productive adults," he said in his voter's pamphlet statement.
"My objective and pledge as a board member for Canby School District is pushing the leaders of our district to evolve our schools from good to exceptional," he said in the statement.
He went on to define "exceptional" to include the following: students are the top priority when it comes to resources; parents, teachers and students have a say in policy, curriculum and activities; teachers are also learners; students are prepared for college; the district is an excellent steward of taxpayer dollars; and school properties are available for citizens whenever possible.
Andrea Weber – Position 6
Weber has sat in Position 6 for two terms, since 2011. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Russian and German from the University of Denver and studied communication at Portland State University.
Weber has been volunteering in Canby School District for more than two decades, she said in her voter's pamphlet statement. She served on the Local School Committee for two years and the budget committee for nine years.
If reelected, she commits to serving students, parents and families of the entire Canby community; to helping the district provide a high-quality education for students with diverse needs; and to building a broader community understanding of and participation with the district.
"Because I believe in the strength of public education, I am willing to engage with the Canby community to communicate, to clarify and to explore how we can work together to create the very best schools to educate all of our children," she said.
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