The future of the Oregon City School District is here
During this May election, a majority of the Oregon City School Board is turning over. It is a time of transition and opportunity. Fresh energy and expertise can help the school district accomplish some amazing things — or miss rare opportunities. After 10 years of volunteering on the school board, I leave hopeful that the district can grasp new opportunity available in the next four years. There are, I believe, two major issues that demand the school board's attention, and key candidates who can get us there.
The first is oversight and implementation of the just-passed bond. When the voters entrusted the school district with its first capital improvement bond since 2000, they placed faith in the board that they can deliver on the promises made. This bond, in addition to improving safety and security across all of our schools, should revitalize middle school education by creating new learning spaces that reflect best practices in how to teach and engage our children. We need people who are financially savvy and knowledgeable about real estate to make sure these millions are spent wisely. Shelley McCoy has professional experience and has volunteered as a budget committee member for the district for many years, and Troy Bolinger has not only served on the school board but has a sophisticated knowledge of real estate. They both have children in the schools, and I strongly recommend them.
But delivering on a new building will be a marginal improvement if we continue to do education in the same old way. We must adapt our teaching approaches to take advantage of the opportunity a new building presents. The district has launched the "Portrait of a Graduate" effort to reflect the school board's long-term push for more project-based learning that fires the imagination and improves learning retention. Our current factory-oriented education model was brought over from Germany in the 19th century. We have moved past the Industrial Revolution, and our educational delivery model needs to do the same. But doing so will require a deep knowledge of curriculum, change management and knowing how to effectively communicate with the community. Brian Remsburg has worked as a teacher and principal for two decade and has led international schools through this exact kind of change, experience we sorely need on the school board and one of the key reasons why he was appointed to a board vacancy. Scott Dahlman has worked with elected officials, diverse community groups and businesses to implement effective change. Brian has four children, three still in the schools, and Scott has elementary-age kids and a family history in education. I strongly recommend them as well.
The election of new board members who understand these priorities is essential to our success. These nonpartisan, unpaid volunteer positions work best for the community when held by parents who are vested in the current delivery of quality service to children and bring unique, relevant experiences to the job, rather than a narrow ideological or political agenda. Please engage in the future of Oregon City schools by supporting a new project-based learning approach and electing Brian Remsburg, Scott Dahlman, Shelley McCoy and Troy Bolinger. Let's give our children the best!
Chris Storey will be an Oregon City School Board member through June 30 and has not filed for re-election.