Eight locals are lining up for appointments to fill two vacant seats

Eight people are hoping to be appointed to the Forest Grove School Board.

Applications were due by 5 p.m. Monday, but by Friday, Brad Coffey, 46, and Gil Jimenez, 71, filed applications with the school district for Positions 1 and 2 on the board, seats that opened up when Anna Tavera-Weller and Terry Howell were recalled in a November special election.

On Monday, those two were joined by John Hayes, outgoing Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Pacific University, Jim Corbeau, a pension advisor and president of the Forest Grove Swim Club, and Jeff Cooper, a local school activist who ran unsuccessfully in May to join the board.

And at the deadline bell, three more joined the fray: Karen O'Donnell, Jennifer Norman and John Minor.

Coffey lives in Cornelius and works as a reliability analyst for Georgia-Pacific Corp. in Clatskanie, testing machinery for electrical issues. His wife, Leila, teaches at Joseph Gale Elementary School in town, and the Coffeys have two children in the Forest Grove district.

"The district faces several difficult challenges, budget and compliance with performance standards among the most critical," Coffey said. "I would be able to listen, evaluate and decide what is best for all the students in the Forest Grove School District."

Jimenez, who moved to Forest Grove 14 months ago and has two grown children and two grandchildren, was a career banker before retiring in October 2010. He's chair of the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber board.

"I want to see what I can do to bring direction to the schools and mentorship to the students," Jimenez said.

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