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Chosen as majority leader in Oregon Senate, Wagner steps down as LOSD board chair

Lake Oswego School Board Chair Rob Wagner announced during a meeting Tuesday that he'll be stepping down effective June 22. Wagner, who also represents District 19 in the Oregon Senate, was recently chosen as the new Senate majority leader and said that left little time for school board duties.

"The demands of that work in this critical moment for our state means that I won't be able to give school board service the full attention it deserves," he said.COURTESY PHOTO - After being selected as the new majority leader of the Oregon Senate, Lake Oswego School Board Chair Rob Wagner stepped down from his board position Tuesday.

He said in his three years of service, he's given his all — attending five hour meetings, presenting at back-to-school nights and Rotary SASEE awards.

"This is a very difficult decision for me to make, however in this critical moment for our schools, the school board needs everyone to be fully engaged. " Wagner said.

In a prepared statement, Wagner said that he knows there are talented and passionate individuals in the community ready to step up.

He added that he's looking forward to attending school board meetings and other LOSD events in the future.

"One thing you should all know is that I will be active in the community, cheering you on as you support our students," he said.

Wagner ran unopposed for position 2 on the board in 2017 after the seat was vacated by then-board chair Sarah Howell. He was appointed to replace Richard Devlin in the Oregon Senate in 2018, and won a full term later that year.

He said his announcement leaves the district time to reach out to members of the community who might be interested in serving out the remaining year of his tenure, as well as run for position 2 next year.

Wagner said he ran for school board three years ago to bring the student voice to the table, to put diversity, equity and inclusion front-in-center in the decision-making process, promote college and career readiness, and advocate for each and every child in LOSD.

"In three years, I have learned so much about the district and the passionate dedication of our school employees," Wagner said.

He listed several accomplishments he got to witness in his three years as a board member, including bond work, laying a foundation for a strategic plan and passing a Learning Levy increase for the first time in 18 years.

Student board member Eli Counce said he wouldn't be in his position on the school board or in student activism if it weren't for Wagner.

"Rob, you have been an amazing leader," he said.

Per LOSD policy, the school board will appoint a replacement for Wagner. That person will serve until June 30 of the next election year, which would be 2021.

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