Oregon City School Board hopefuls have kids in district
On March 4, the Oregon City School Board voted 3-2 to appoint Brian Remsburg to fill a vacant spot as a board member.
Remsburg will be taking the position formerly held by Siobhán O'Connor Gwozdz, who resigned Jan. 10 due to difficulty balancing multiple jobs. However, Remsburg may only be filling the position until June 30, since he is already opposed by Steven Soll in the upcoming election.
Remsburg and Soll were among 14 applicants that the School Board received to fill Gwozdz's seat; she resigned mere months before May election for a full four-year term, expiring June 30, 2023. Four positions on the OC school board, including Gwozdz's former seat, will be on the May ballot.
"I have four kids that are currently attending school within the district, and I would like to have a positive influence on the future of the district," Remsburg wrote in his application for appointment.
Soll is also a parent: "Although my son is only a few months old, I am already eager to find ways to contribute to the schools that he will be attending in the future," he wrote.
A graduate of Lehigh University and Corban University in elementary education and educational leadership, Remsburg has worked as a middle school teacher and as a principal in multiple international schools, including one in South Korea. He recently stopped working as a substitute teacher in Oregon City schools in order to focus on his Adventurous Life business.
"Working in high-performing international schools has given me a unique perspective that I think can contribute to the school board," Remsburg wrote. "I have seen what is possible to accomplish in education, along with how much work it takes to get there."
Soll also applied to be appointed to the seat based on his experience as a teacher: "I feel that my past experiences as a research scientist and my current work as a college science teacher have allowed me to build a set of skills that would be an asset to the school board's work."
Soll currently teaches at Clackamas Community College and the University of Portland. He received a bachelor's degree in biochemistry from Portland State University and a doctorate degree in biological sciences from Rockefeller University.
Both candidates for the position have forward-thinking statements in their applications.
"I have also regularly been a part of professional learning communities and have attended numerous professional development seminars and conferences to stay current on best practices," Remsburg wrote.
"Additionally, wherever possible, I would work hard to incorporate a variety of resources that may instruct us about proven practices that can address achievement gaps," Soll wrote.
On May 21, an election will be held for four-year terms on local school boards, including North Clackamas, Gladstone and Oregon City. The deadline for filing in that election is March 21.
Andrew Griffin contributed to this report.