Kelly Calabria, a Lake Oswego native with daughters in elementary and junior high school, will run for the Lake Oswego School Board. Calabria is a small business owner and real estate agent who was born in Lake Oswego and attended elementary through high school in the district. Her first job out of college was working for the LOSD.
"Volunteering and civic duty has always been a goal of mine," Calabria said. "I feel like I can add a lot of value to the board, being involved with parents on all levels. I have a lot of history with the district, and I'm looking forward to this next opportunity."
Calabria will run for Position 1, which is currently occupied by John Wallin. Wallin is seeking reelection. She says she decided to run this year because the timing made sense.
"As my kids get older, there's less opportunities for me to volunteer in the classroom, so I wanted to be involved in another way," she said. "I'm also excited to welcome the new superintendent and make sure she is supported."
Dr. Lora de la Cruz will take over as the Lake Oswego School District Superintendent July 1, shortly after the school board elections will take place. Calabria believes they would work well together.
"I agree with the direction she would like to go with the district," Calabria said. "It matches well with what my approach would be."
According to Calabria, her experience in various industries will help her if she is elected to serve on the school board. She received a City of Lake Oswego Distinguished Service Award in 2005 for her work on the Natural Resources Advisory Board. Her career as a real estate agent in LO began in 2006; she is now with the Hasson Company.
Calabria and her husband are the owners of Kelly's Jelly, which was launched from the Lake Oswego's Farmers Market in 2010.
"I've learned a lot about problem solving, coming up with solutions that are creative. I'm constantly working with limited time and resources, needing to make decisions that move things forward," she said. "It's a balancing act."
Calabria is also a former member of the Lake Oswego Budget Committee and a former president of the Lake Oswego Mom's Club. She hopes to use her involvement in the Lake Oswego to create more dialogue between the community and the school board.
"There's some opportunities to get the community and the staff more on the same page, through more open and clear processes," Calabria said. "I think that people want to know what decisions are coming up, and they want to know a clear reason as to why decisions are made."
Some of these tough decisions have to do with the district's implementation of a $187 million school bond, and the local option levy on the ballot in May.
"I think it's exciting," she said. "Because there is so much going on, people are paying attention. They want to make sure things are done right."
Calabria also hopes to advance the district's goal of "All Means All," and its commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion.
"It is important to encourage commonalities between students and the expectation of respect for everyone," Calabria said. "I think it's an extremely important goal. Diversity, equity and inclusion are all important components of 'All Means All.'"
Overall, Calabria says her goal is to listen to the community.
"I'm just here to help," she said.
Candidates for the School Board must file the required paperwork by March 21. For more information on the School Board, visit www.losdschools.org/domain/37.
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