Ana Gonzalez Munoz is challenging Dane Nickerson, who has been on the Reynolds board for a decade

PMG PHOTO: TERESA CARSON - Incumbent Dane Nickerson is being challenged by Ana Gonzalez Munoz for a seat on the Reynolds School Board. Races for local school board seats are heating up, but so far there is only one contested race in East Multnomah County school districts.

Candidates still have about two weeks, until March 21, to file to run for office in the May election.

In the Reynolds School District, Ana Gonzalez Munoz is running against Dane Nickerson, who has served on the Reynolds board for a decade. Nickerson is a banker with Northwest Bank of Lake Oswego.

Munoz is the associate director for family and community engagement with the Latino Network. She has taught in the Central School District in Independence, Oregon, and at Chemeketa Community College.

Two incumbents have filed for the other two positions up for grabs on the Reynolds School District board. Yesenia Delgado and Ricki Ruiz have filed to run for the seats they currently hold.

School board members act as trustees for the public education system. Members work as much as 20 hours per week as unpaid volunteers overseeing school districts. They must understand the complex workings of a school district from curriculum to finance to facilities.

There are five seats up for election on the Centennial School Board. Incumbents Claudia Andrews, Ernest Butenschoen and Pam Shields have all filed to retain their positions. Nobody has yet filed for the Position 2 seat currently held by Ronald "Jess" Hardin.

Sumitra Chhetri is running for the seat currently held by Brenda Clark. Clark has not yet filed.

Chhetri, a community engagement program coordinator at the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, graduated from David Douglas High School and Portland State University. She's been involved in multiple community organizations.

All four incumbents serving in the Gresham-Barlow School district — Kris Howatt, John Hartsock, Mayra Gomez and Jeff Gibbs — have filed to be on the May ballot.

Three seats on Corbett School District board are up for re-election and nobody has yet thrown their hat in the ring there.

The school board has a big job. It hires and fires the superintendent and sets policies for the district. It develops and adopts the all-important school budget, which sets priorities for how children are educated.

The school board approves the curriculum such as books and materials teachers use to educate kids. It keeps an eye on the condition of school buildings and decides about whether to ask voters for money for facilities improvement and how much.

The volunteer board members spend many hours per month in board and committee meetings, visiting schools and going to school events, reading documents, attending workshops and more.

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