July welcomes two new members to Scappoose school board
July has ushered in a new era for the Scappoose School District.
Out are school board members Lisa Maloney and Tim Brooks, both of whom declined to seek another term. In are Summer Stutsman-Hoag and Gwynn Klobes.
At the May 18 election, Stutsman-Hoag beat out Tanya Francis. Klobes was elected while running unopposed.
Contacted by the Spotlight, Stutsman-Hoag and Klobes outlined their thoughts on their upcoming terms, which expire June 2025.
Stutsman-Hoag has been a pediatric and neonatal intensive care nurse for almost 20 years and has lived in Scappoose for over two decades. Her husband's uncle is Jim Hoag, who also serves on the school board.
Stutsman-Hoag explained her goals for the new school board term.
"I would say first and foremost that my goal is to learn, and then offer my skill set and knowledge to our district," Stutsman-Hoag said. "As we all know, last year was a struggle for many people and a lot of people are in the healing process. We all need to be prepared to give it our all, and as hard as that can be when we are healing, I know our board, district employees and students can do it."
Stutsman-Hoag continued, "As a nurse, I know many of the mental and physical impacts this pandemic has had on communities. I will offer my knowledge on this to our board and community. I also want to see our district focus on evaluating and assisting children in recovering from any academic and emotional setbacks from this last year."
Stutsman-Hoag said she wants to give underrepresented families in the Scappoose School District a voice.
"I personally hope that we can begin long-term planning again in our district, along with continuing to work on equity and equality for our students, all while making all of our families feel heard," she said. "We represent a large, very fluid population coming from many backgrounds, which can be difficult with all the challenges our society faces, but I'm confident that we are all here for the kids and can work together to achieve the goals of our districts and families."
Asked if she is concerned about any sort of conservative-versus-liberal schisms that might occur on the board during her term, Stutsman-Hoag responded, "I am not worried about a divide. I believe we can work together as a team. I recognize this is not a place for any type of political divide. We are here for the kids and their future."
As school board members, Brooks and Maloney were outspoken social conservatives who opposed the school district's approach to teaching about gender and sexuality, and who would occasionally battle with school staff.
Klobes is also looking forward to serving the community on the Scappoose school board and has spent time getting familiar with her new position.
Klobes has experience teaching and directing a personal and professional development program at the University of Portland and has worked on call in the Scappoose School District.
"This summer, I have been preparing for service on the board by attending meetings, taking classes, and connecting with teachers, staff, and stakeholders," Klobes said. "I have also met with Superintendent Tim Porter to make sure I understand the responsibilities of a board member."
As for her goals, Klobes said, "The district has lots of goals already, but something I want to be sure we don't lose track of is long-term planning. The district hasn't been able to do much long-term planning lately, but I think we'll be ready to start up with it again this year."
Klobes continued, "Because I took part in our district's last long-term planning process, I am a firm believer it must be ongoing so we can make proactive use of our resources instead of just reacting to problems as they come up."
Looking forward, Klobes hopes to hear from community members — including those who aren't Scappoose School District parents right now — about what they want.
"A lot of the people living in our community do not have students in our schools, and we need to find ways for them to connect with the district," Klobes said. "Effective communication with all of our stakeholders is another priority for me."
Klobes is passionate about quality education for all kids.
"In my career, I have spent years helping students to find their 'right-fit' professions, and as a board member, I will never lose sight of the fact that our kids need to graduate and find a path forward after high school," Klobes said.
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