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Board also ranked themselves and the superintendent highly in evaluations. 

The Lake Oswego School Board met on Tuesday, July 12, for evaluations of the superintendent and the board itself, as well the appointment of a new chair and vice chair.

Board elects chair and vice chair

The board's most recent chair, Kirsten Aird, passed along the gavel to new leaders on Tuesday. Neelam Gupta will now serve as chair of the Lake Oswego School Board, while Brian Bills will serve as vice chair.

Gupta served as vice chair the prior year and has been on the board since 2020. By day, she works in the public health field and has served as the co-chair of the Lake Oswego School District's Diversity, Equity and Inclusion Advisory Committee, while also volunteering with numerous local organizations.

Bills joined the board last year. He owns AcerLogic Educational Services, a Lake Oswego testing prep and admissions counseling company, and has previously served as a Diversity, Equity, Inclusion and Access Committee member, along with other community work.

"I'm excited to be school board chair this year, and to work with Vice Chair Bills and the rest of the board," Gupta said.

Aird will now serve as a regular board member. During Aird's time as chair for the 2021-2022 academic year, she was a strong advocate for student voice, inclusivity and mental health, among other things. She would often take time during meetings to advocate for specific groups within the community and beyond. She started impromptu dialogues on the importance of mental health services and gun control after a school shooting in Michigan last Nov. as well as the need to support Ukrainian families days after the Russian invasion.

Superintendent and school board evaluations

The school board also conducted its annual evaluation of Superintendent Jennifer Schiele.

Schiele has served as the superintendent since July 1, 2021. An evaluation of the superintendent is an annual practice focusing on the superintendent's goals from the prior year and performance on said goals.

With a score of four being the highest achievable, the majority of scores given by board members were three or four.

"We are extremely pleased with the leadership and stability she has shown the district after another unprecedented year," Gupta said.

In addition to the superintendent review, board members completed a self-assessment consisting of 68 questions reflecting on their work and relationship as a team.

The board members were asked to rank themselves 1-5 — five meaning the group "always" took this certain item into consideration, while 1 meant the board "never" did the specific task.

The questions ranged in responses. Questions like "provide for evaluation of district operations to ensure there is an efficient and effective learning environment," earned a mixed bag, with board members ranking the team from 1 to 4. Others like "conduct business in a transparent and accountable manner," garnered all fives from each board member.

The board collectively said that the evaluation allowed them to see their strengths and what areas they may need more training in.

The next board meeting will be held at 4 p.m. Aug. 15.

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