Cheat Sheet

Our look at uncontested 2015 School Board races.

WW doesn't offer endorsements in uncontested races. But here's a glimpse at who else is running in local school board races.

Portland Public Schools

Zone 7, Southeast Portland

Mike Rosen, 54, is a longtime parent activist who also works for the city of Portland's Bureau of Environmental Services. The Cleveland High dad has a Ph.D. in environmental science and engineering.

Rosen is running unopposed to replace Greg Belisle, who declined to run for a second term. Rosen says he has several priorities: Among them, he wants to keep a sharp eye on Superintendent Carole Smith's budget decisions; nudge the school district to offer better "customer service"; involve parents in the hiring of new principals; and better manage the district's $482 million construction bond.

Multnomah Education Service District

Position 5, Zone 1, North and Northeast Portland

Michael Durrow is a perennial candidate finally catching a break. In recent years he's run unsuccessfully for positions on the board of Portland Community College, Metro Council and the Portland City Council.

Durrow did not respond to WW's requests for an interview. His Voters' Pamphlet statement describes him as retired. He's also a longtime precinct committee person for the Democratic Party who went to Reed College but didn't graduate.

In 2007, WW wrote about Durrow's one-man protest against Alibi Restaurant and Lounge in North Portland. Durrow, who stands 4 feet 9 inches tall, accused the karaoke bar of harassment and discrimination after it 86'd him for allegedly making female customers uncomfortable ("The Day the Music Died," WW, Aug. 29, 2007). "I believe I was 86'd because I am a gregarious single black male who took the whole [karaoke] thing really seriously," he told WW in 2007.

Portland Community College

Zone 2, North and Northeast Portland and portions of Columbia County

Kali Thorne Ladd, 37, is running again to fill a seat she first won by appointment in 2012 following the death of longtime board member Harold Williams, Sr.

Thorne Ladd worked for former Mayor Sam Adams as an education policy adviser. She's also a co-founder of Kairos PDX, a charter school in North Portland where she serves as executive director. She says her top goals include promoting equity, strengthening community partnerships and stabilizing funding.

Zone 7, Western Washington County

Deanna Palm, 51, has served on the board since 2009, when she was appointed to fill a vacancy. President of the Hillsboro Chamber of Commerce for nearly 14 years, Palm got her associates degree in business from PCC.

Palm says her priorities include overseeing the successful completion of projects funded by the $374 million construction bond that voters approved in 2008. 

David Douglas School District

Position 4

Bryce Anderson, 58, replaced state Rep. Shemia Fagan (D-Portland) on the David Douglas School Board when Fagan moved out of the school district in 2013. Anderson is a financial planner for Crown Capital Securities.

Position 5

Kyle Riggs, director of sales and retail operations for Fanzz and Just Sports stores, has served on the board since 2012, when he was appointed to replace Mike Price. He has two sons at David Douglas High School.

Riggs, 43, says he wants to hire back teaching positions cut during the recession, saying class sizes have ballooned. 

But David Douglas is also overcrowded, and it doesn't have the space to house additional teachers. Riggs' second priority is adding new classrooms.

Position 7

Frieda Christopher has served on the David Douglas board since 1991. She's now running for her seventh term. "This is my last," says Christopher, who's been volunteering with David Douglas since her children were in school starting in the 1970s. 

Chief administrative officer with a fisheries consultant, Christopher, 65, says there's still a lot to do. She says she'd like to focus on improving new teacher and administrator evaluations, expanding early childhood programs and strengthening family engagement. The district includes families who together speak 76 languages.

Parkrose School District

Position 2

James Trujillo, 44, is a senior manager for human resources at the Port of Portland. He's served on the Parkrose board since 2013 and has one daughter entering kindergarten next year and a second daughter at Parkrose Middle School.

Trujillo says his top priority is putting more resources into classrooms, saying the district is still hasn't restored 30 teaching positions cut during the recession. "We need to find as many creative ways as we can to add back staff,” he says. 

Trujillo last year voted to outsource the district's bus services. The measure stirred up controversy in the Northeast Portland district and didn't pass. But Trujillo says he would vote the same way if the cost-saving measure came before him again. "That was one way to put three teachers in classroom," he says.

Trujillo's second priority is making school facilities safer for students.

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