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The News-Times publishes its last batch of reader letters before the Tuesday, May 18, election.

Lopez, Watson, Spross, Thomas best for Hillsboro schools

As a mother, kindergarten teacher and community member, it is important to me and my fellow educators of the Hillsboro Education Association (HEA) to elect candidates that share our vision to make our schools better for everyone.

During the 2019-2020 school year, my non-binary child had the opportunity to serve as student representative to the school board. Danny was supported by all school board members. Our family was grateful the school board voted to follow state law and implement a new comprehensive sex education curriculum which expands students' understanding and supports all students health.

As a member of HEA, I interviewed school board candidates Erika Lopez, Mark Watson, Jaci Spross and Nancy Thomas. I felt incredibly inspired and moved by their track record of working to close the opportunity gap in our district, their trusted leadership in managing critical decisions during COVID and willingness to engage all stakeholders. The other candidates didn't respond to our request to interview.

I am proud to be part of a district that is making monumental strides to ensure all students, teachers and parents are listened to and advocated for. Join me in voting for Erika, Mark, Jaci and Nancy, by May 18.

Angela Adzima, Hillsboro

City councilor encourages vote for Williams

I am Hillsboro City Councilor Olivia Alcaire and I endorse my friend Reiko Mia Williams for PCC Board District 7. Vote for Reiko!

Reiko is a tale of persistence and success. A Beaverton resident for 26 years, Reiko lives within walking distance to PCC Rock Creek campus. Reiko is an educator, engaged community member, volunteer, and a single Black mother of 3 daughters. Reiko taught her daughters to be kind and positive, and to overcome barriers and succeed in college. Reiko was inspired by her mother who studied to be a nurse. She lost her mother to cancer at the age of 12 and was cared for by family. Reiko encouraged her own daughters to succeed despite barriers.

Reiko's credentials include two masters degrees (Master of Social Work and Ed Leadership), K-12 administrator license and is completing her Ed.D at PSU. Reiko is currently a K-5 principal.

Reiko's steady, transformative leadership benefits PCC students. Reiko believes in PCC's future.

Reiko has the capacity to serve on PCC's board and believes in community building across multiple PCC campuses and with community stakeholders to do what is best for students.

Reiko has expertise in administration, organizational development, college-level teaching, and social justice advocacy.

Reiko values the journey students take to meet college goals, especially students of color, immigrants, first-generation, veterans and older students needing help with college processes.

Reiko's steady, transformative leadership benefits PCC student success. Vote for Reiko!

Olivia Alcaire

City Councilor, Hillsboro

Support challengers for return to normalcy in Hillsboro

I'm writing to support Joe Everton, Monique Ward, Mary Phelps and Ben Wolfe for positions on the Hillsboro School Board.

These candidates are dedicated to solving the most important issue our kids face now: closing the terrible gap they've been handed in their education and social development. It's time to get these students back to school, full-time and face-to-face, and these candidates are dedicated to getting that done.

As a parent whose daughter was educated right here in Hillsboro, I can't emphasize enough how important it was for her to interact with teachers and with her classmates, and how important our conversations about her day in school were.

The last thing our kids need is to be more connected to the internet and less connected to reality. The first thing they need is to go back to school. I believe these candidates will work hard to get that done.

Steve Pitzel, Rock Creek

An ouroboros of Hillsboro teachers, school board members

Watching the current races for Hillsboro School Board, I find it interesting that the incumbent members running for re-election are trumpeting their endorsement from the same teachers' unions with whom they negotiate salary and benefits contracts. Is that not a major conflict of interest?

While having constructive engagement is positive, a too-cozy relationship is akin to the proverbial fox guarding the henhouse. School Board members should represent the taxpayers and parents in the school district, and not the special interest groups trying to buy their re-election.

This too-cozy relationship should concern all voters in the Hillsboro School District.

Bethany Hansen, Hillsboro

Washington County fortunate to have Wilson as PCC candidate

Kristi Wilson is the perfect PCC Board candidate to both strengthen the connection between Portland Community College and Washington County and strengthen the services PCC can provide for students and businesses within Washington County.

Kristi is a PCC alumna who knows what it is like to work several jobs while obtaining her transfer degree in preparation for launching a successful career. She has lived, worked and served in Washington County for almost 20 years, and is currently the workforce development manager for the City of Hillsboro.

Kristi will jump into the role of PCC Board member with a backlog of PCC-related experience, a grounded familiarity with the programming PCC provides and an opportunistic understanding of how PCC programs can better serve and create opportunity for Washington County students and businesses.

Her commitment and experience speak for themselves: Kristi serves on a Career Technical Education (CTE) advisory for the college and has created paid internships in local government for PCC students. Kristi led a Washington County collaborative team to put funding into play to strengthen PCC pathways for students in manufacturing and health care services.

And as if that isn't enough to make her the ideal candidate, Kristi has spent time at the state legislature lobbying for more dollars for PCC students and for key PCC programs like Future Connect, which opens college pathways for first generation and underserved Hillsboro high school students.

We would be hard pressed to find a more accomplished and deserving candidate, one who can bring her proven dedication, experience and expertise in service to Washington County and Portland Community College, strengthening both in the process. Washington County is fortunate to have such a candidate in Kristi Wilson!

Denise Frisbee

Zone 1 Director, Portland Community College

Hillsboro schools well served by Lopez

I am writing in support of Erika Lopez for the Hillsboro School District Board of Directors — Position 1. I have had the honor to know Erika Lopez as a friend, colleague and board member for many years.

Erika has been connected with the Hillsboro School District as a student, a mom, a volunteer and as a leader. She brings her lived experience as a bilingual, bicultural alumni and community advocate, a critical perspective needed for a board member in our district.

Her resume as a board member is impressive. Over the last four years she served, the board has voted to add student representation on the board, adopted educational equity policy, passed a $408 million capital construction bond, and adopted comprehensive sexuality health curriculum. Erika serves on the budget committee, contractor selection committee, audit committee, and board and superintendent input team.

In addition, Erika has led the district through some challenging times. COVID-19 continues to be a hardship on all of our families, students and educators and she continues to work hard to ensure schools can open safely. She is diligent in responding to all her constituents' emails and works tirelessly with no complaints. She wants our schools open and is dedicated to help make that happen.

As a mom with two kids in the Hillsboro School District, I believe it is critical to keep Erika Lopez on the board.

Our kids need Erika.

Please join me in voting for Erika Lopez for HSD Board of Directors — Position 1 on May 18.

Kristi Wilson, Hillsboro

Spross deserves re-election in Hillsboro

This May 18, I am voting to re-elect Jaci Spross to the Hillsboro School Board, Position 6.

Jaci has worked hard in her position to understand and address the unique challenges our district faces, helping to find solutions that will most benefit the families she serves.

She is determined to ensure fair and equal opportunities for all the students in our district and does not shy away from the hard questions that come with a diverse community, striving to ensure everyone feels seen and heard.

She has brought careful consideration to each matter brought before the board, taking her time to study the facts and see it from all points of view.

Jaci has proven to be a strong member of our school board, and I believe she will continue to do a great job when re-elected. I encourage everyone to vote for Jaci Spross.

Lisa Lehwalder, Hillsboro


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