This story has been updated.
Kirsten Wyatt, the chair of the West Linn-Wilsonville School Board Budget Committee, announced her candidacy for Position 3 on the district's school board, a spot currently held by Dylan Hydes.
Hydes' term expires June 30, and the election will take place May 18. Hydes has announced that he will not run for reelection, and he endorses Wyatt for Position 3.
Wyatt said her time on the budget committee has been a great introduction to the district's responsibilities.
"I've also been really impressed by how well the current board works together and also the high caliber of the district staff," Wyatt said.
She said joining the school board would be an interesting and fulfilling way to give back to the school community.
Wyatt is running on four main positions: safely reopening schools to full-time, financial oversight, anti-racism and equity and creative and innovative leadership.
Wyatt, who has lived in West Linn for 14 years, has two children who attend school in the district.
She said it's been exciting to see students return to the classroom and that her own children will start going back next week. She wants to ensure the district progresses toward a full reopening of schools. She said she's also interested in continuing the anti-racism work the district has started. Additionally, she said her prior experience in government finance lends itself to finding resources for continued equity work.
"We have such amazing schools and it really is the result of strong partnership between students, their families and staff," Wyatt said.
Along with her work on the district's budget committee, Wyatt is the co-founder and executive director of Engaging Local Government Leaders, a professional association that provides training and learning content to people in local government across the country. Wyatt also worked for the city of West Linn from 2007-16, serving as finance analyst, assistant to the city manager and assistant city manager during that time.
"I'm very passionate about how impactful government at the local level can be," Wyatt said.
Over the next few months Wyatt will invite people to Zoom coffees and Clubhouse discussions so they can get to know her and her campaign position and have the space to ask questions.
"Finding ways to keep all voices engaged and making sure people feel heard is something I'm looking forward to," Wyatt said.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.