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Readers weigh in on the school board race, the Learning Levy, and more in letters to the editor

Wallin listens and works for students

I'm a mom to elementary students in our public schools and am proud to support John Wallin's re-election for Lake Oswego School Board, Position 1. I'm in good company as a look at his web page's endorsements section indicates. Many in our community agree our students need someone with John's integrity and servant leadership to continue advocating for ALL our students' needs.

I've been impressed with John's ability to listen to the community and use the feedback to improve our schools. During John's time as school board chair, the school board voted to approve the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion advisory committee, added student representatives to the board and even added town halls for increased community engagement.

I know John is invested in further improving the educational environment as a parent to a 9th grade student at LOHS. John is also aware what tools our students need to succeed beyond their K-12 experience as a dad to two recent LOSD graduates. In addition, John's marriage to a public school elementary teacher helps inform him on the needs of Oregon schools.

I'm confident John is our best choice for Position 1. Join me in voting to re-elect John for LOSD School Board.

Emma Burke

Lake Oswego

Wallin's experience second to none

When I first met John Wallin, my "tween" children were babies and John's were in elementary school. We served together on the LOS Foundation board of directors. At that time, John wrote all of the materials for the schools foundation, including the annual report. I noticed John's intellect and humor, and his caring in giving back to his community. When I ran for the school board in 2013, John was helping pass the last Learning Levy campaign. When I learned there was an open position for the school board in 2015, I encouraged John to run. Like many of his colleagues, I was thrilled that John would step up for a second term, (especially after he served as school board chair, a difficult position). John is the only candidate in this race with experience in school district leadership positions. Our district's success is built on contributions like these. It is essential that school board members have a firm understanding of how the district works. John has served with integrity and kindness, putting students first, for over a decade. Please join me in voting for John Wallin for Lake Oswego school board.

Sarah Howell

Lake Oswego

Calabria brings dedication, commitment

We support Kelly Calabria as a candidate for the Lake Oswego School Board.

When we learned Kelly was planning to run for the school board we were thrilled and also not surprised. Her dedication and commitment to this community speak volumes. She is not only ambitious and pragmatic — she is thoughtful, kind and honest.

These are all characteristics the responsibilities of a school board member require, and knowing many of the critical decisions our school district is facing, we trust that she would be the most qualified candidate to help steer the ship.

We couldn't be more proud to show our support.

Greg and Stefanie Togni

Lake Oswego

Calabria brings parents, small business owners together in support

Those who know me know that I like to be direct. Here is why I am voting for Kelly Calabria for Lake Oswego School Board:

Successful business owners know how to prioritize when resources are scarce. As a business woman, I know that Kelly's financial acumen resulting in great success with her Kelly's Jelly business will be an asset to Lake Oswego.

Kelly knows that diversity, equity and inclusion are important components to the success of our students and health of our community. As a Latina, I know that Kelly will do her best to ensure that each and every student has an opportunity to soar.

Kelly's business is a two-time winner of The Good Food Award, the first national initiative to recognize food producers based on both taste and sustainability criteria. As someone who is passionate about the environment, I know that Kelly will prioritize sustainability.

Kelly has enormous support from parents and small business owners all over Lake Oswego. Her opponent touts his partisan support from Salem. As someone who believes that our local, non-partisan elections should stay non-partisan and void of Salem influence, I fully support Kelly as our non-partisan hometown candidate.

Ignore Salem. Listen to LO parents. Vote for Kelly!

Claudia Valderrama

Lake Oswego

Calabria is 'all LO'

Kelly Calabria is all about Lake Oswego. As the mom of 4th and 6th graders, she is well versed with both of these levels of education and is already familiarizing herself with high school as she will soon be mom of a high school student. Kelly is an alum of our schools, former classified employee, started her business Kelly's Jelly at our own LO Farmers Market, volunteered on the LO Budget committee and completed the LO Leadership program. She is ALL about LO. All the time.

She earns the respect of others through her hard work, listening, strategic thinking and collaborative solutions. She is also is a phenomenal listener and relationship builder. In a time of transition and turnover in our school district, this commitment, relationship building and full investment in Lake Oswego as a whole has never been more critical. Kelly is exactly the type of leader our school board needs right now.

As a former teacher, parent of two and longtime resident of Lake Oswego, I know how important the school board is to our city and community. Relationships and results — that is what Kelly does best. Join me in voting Kelly Calabria for LO School Board.

Ryan Durrett

Lake Oswego

Community must support teachers

As a student at Lake Oswego Junior High, I know firsthand how important a good teacher is to my educational success. Having a teacher that I can go to with questions and who can give me their full attention makes mundane assignments feel significant and inspirational. We must continue to fund our teaching staff here, and to hire more teachers to expand program options and increase support. That's why we need to pass the LO Learning Levy: Measure 3-547.

This levy has been successfully providing critical funding for our schools for almost 20 years, and must be renewed this May. Passing Measure 3-547 will mean keeping more than 80 teachers and school employee positions, and hiring up to 20 more teachers and counselors. This levy will give schools the funding they need to focus on expanding STEM offerings and vocational and technical training, and increasing individualized learning. It also invests in safety and security on campus, which is necessary to ensure students have a safe place to focus on learning and growth. Please join me in voting yes on Measure 3-547 this May. It will make all the difference to the students in the Lake Oswego School District.

Riley Ha

Lake Oswego

Learning Levy would strengthen student support structures

As an advocate for students who experience learning disabilities, I know how important specialized teachers and teacher training are to a child's academic, social and emotional success. I want each and every child to succeed in our schools, and to do that adequate resources are critical. Measure 3-547 will help strengthen existing support structures that these students and all students need for learning success by providing funding for three new reading support/learning specialists at the elementary level.

This levy has been successfully providing critical funding for our schools for nearly 20 years and must be renewed this May. Passing Measure 3-547 will mean our schools can hire qualified support staff and specialists to increase personalized instruction for students experiencing learning challenges. Such a shift could support more collaborative practices between general and special educators, which would benefit all students.

Building programs and opportunities that accommodate students with learning, physical and developmental disabilities within the framework of the overall education experience is key to student success for all LOSD students. Measure 3-547 will help — please join me in voting YES.

Monicah McGee

Lake Oswego

Calabria cares for all students

With three daughters in grades 2, 4 and 6, the future of our LO schools is extremely important to me. Having worked as an elementary teacher, I understand the importance of supporting our educators as they work to meet individual needs and offer opportunities to all our students.

I have known Kelly Calabria for eight years. We have volunteered together at school and I have seen firsthand her dedication to each of our students no matter their background. She is a good listener, hard worker and will bring fresh honest perspective to the LO school board. She respects our professional educators and has commitment to process.

Please join me in voting Kelly Calabria for LO School Board.

Jessica Stalick

Lake Oswego

John Wallin: students first

John Wallin's conviction that Lake Oswego schools serve our community best when students from varied educational, economic, cultural and racial backgrounds graduate well-prepared to interact in a world where all people matter earns my vote!

John is an idea-oriented, open-minded listener and thinker who has a curiosity about possibility and makes decisions to move things forward with the present and future in focus. He is aware that each decision impacts children, families, school communities, staff and our city's well-being.

John was a longtime member and chair of the LO Educational Foundation and a volunteer in classrooms before serving on the school board. John's commitment to listening to parents, teachers, support staff and students about what matters to them is vital to our schools' progress. Under John's leadership, our school board's goal of a 100% graduation rate targets exceptional learning environments in safe and secure schools.

John works in the tech world and understands the promise and limits of technology in education. He envisions the future of our schools as he addresses present needs.

A vote for John Wallin will ensure that our School Board continues to target the success of all our community's children.

Jane Lovelady

Lake Oswego

Let's do Lake Oswego a favor and elect Kelly Calabria!

I have known Kelly for years. We once worked together, and I taught her daughter at my Montessori school. Now, she has her children at Lake Grove and Lake Oswego Junior High School while I have mine in the Spanish Immersion program at River Grove and Lakeridge High School. Regardless of what school your student attends or what program your student is a part of, Kelly will have their back. Kelly Calabria will do her best to ensure that each and every student in every program at every school thrives. Kelly Calabria has earned the trust of the parents in Lake Oswego.

Kelly's entrepreneurial spirit and financial acumen that have led to her company's success, combined with her hands-on experience with the children in our schools and strong relationships all over Lake Oswego, will make her an excellent addition to the school board.

Please vote for Kelly Calabria, the candidate that moms all over Lake Oswego support! You can see her growing list of supporters at kellyforloschoolboard.com

Ginger Baker

Lake Oswego

Wallin is kind, dedicated in work for school board

I am writing in support of John Wallin for the Lake Oswego School Board. As a parent of two students in this district, a three-term PTO President, and chair of numerous other committees and efforts within the district, I understand well what it means to commit wholeheartedly to the education and well-being of our children. I have known John since our earliest days at Forest Hills Elementary School, and have known him to be nothing but kind, dedicated, attentive and loyal. John consistently turns out to support our schools and our community, demonstrating his upmost commitment to serving us all well. I was impressed, specifically, with John's efforts to change school start times as an improvement to student health and wellness. I am thankful for the positive impact this has had on our family, and appreciate that he continues to stand up for the whole person, as well as our community as a whole. He listens, processes and prioritizes the issues of student health and safety by valuing what our parents and students have to say. Please join me in voting for John Wallin this May!

Kerry Hinrichs

Lake Oswego

John Wallin is the competent choice

As a grandmother of two Lake Oswego students and a volunteer in the Art Literacy Program, the support for music and arts is extremely valuable to my family. Over the past four years, I have seen a vast expansion of access to the arts in my grandchildren's lives. I directly attribute this growth to the advocacy of the current school board members, especially John Wallin.

Education is an expansive experience and should seek to bring everyone closer together through each curriculum endeavor, and I could not trust anyone more with such a task than John. John has articulated and shown that he supports all children and ensures that each student has a path to success in our district; expanding access to the arts is just one example. John's bold goals of improved test scores, increasing student health and achieving 100% graduation rates showcase his commitment to our community and the families within the district.

On May 21 we have a very important choice to make as a community. We must vote for experience, advocacy, knowledge and a candidate who understands the seriousness of the responsibility we are voting for them to manage. Please vote to keep our district strong, vote for John Wallin.

Lucie Forbes

Lake Oswego

Wallin's experience matters

I am proud to support John Wallin for reelection to the school board on May 21.

In this election, we cannot allow ourselves to be deceived by the fleeting comfort of vague promises and unverifiable rhetoric. Instead, we ought to truly examine each candidate's relevant experience and worthwhile qualifications.

John has the necessary experience and qualifications.

As a previous school foundation board member, a past chair of the school board and the parent of three current and former LOSD students, John exemplifies the fervor and prowess that we should strive to have on our school board.

The district, under John's leadership, has made great progress over the past four years, becoming a more inclusive, proactive and forward thinking institution. This progress, though, is not guaranteed. In fact, significant vigilance, on the community's part, is required to sustain this betterment. And that is why we have the choice, in this election, to either reaffirm our dedication to progress or resort to the stagnancy of the past.

As a student, I am confident in John's ability to not only fulfill the role of a board member but to also transcend mediocrity and drive this district towards a more vibrant and successful future.

Michael Murray

Lake Oswego

Wallin is thoughtful, collaborative

I feel incredibly fortunate to have had the opportunity to serve alongside John Wallin on the Lake Oswego School Board for the last two years. John has proven time and again to be a thoughtful, collaborative and solution-oriented leader, who always does his research and makes student-centered decisions.

John is eminently qualified for this position, with years of active volunteer service to our district, a track record of progressive and innovative board leadership, and a deep understanding of the dynamics of public education. However, what I value most about John is that he seeks to understand multiple points of view and works diligently to find solutions that are grounded in common values of student success and wellbeing. His efforts in the design of our district's multi-year strategic plan speak for themselves through unprecedented focus on DEI and education of the whole child.

As our district breaks ground on the largest investment of the phase one bond program, prepares to welcome a new superintendent and continues striving to advance 21st century learning, John's experience and thought leadership are needed now more than ever. Please join me in voting for John Wallin May 21 for Lake Oswego School Board, Position 1.

Sara Pocklington

Lake Oswego

Wallin has earned a second school board term

Please join us in voting for John Wallin. We have had the good fortune of knowing John and his family, including as fellow parents of students attending LO schools, throughout our 11 years here. In our judgment, John, Ruth and the Wallin family quietly exemplify the very best qualities of LO.

John is an open-minded leader who studies the issues and listens to all sides before making an informed decision. Nonetheless, he is also insightful, pragmatic and results oriented. As a longtime community and school volunteer, the "hands on" parent of three school children (now/recently) in our public education system, and the spouse of an elementary school teacher, John imparts long-term perspective on what it takes to make our school system great. He cares deeply about maintaining and improving the quality and relevance of the education provided to our kids. John is nonpartisan and transparent in his approach to school policy and leadership. During his first term on the board, while working collaboratively with the school community, John demonstrated initiative and established a proven track record of specific, well-implemented policies to enhance the quality, reputation and future outlook of our schools.

John has earned a second term on the school board. We enthusiastically support his reelection!

Katie & Randy Arthur

Lake Oswego


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