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Readers weigh in with last-minute thoughts on the school board race, park bond vote

Calabria would be joy to work with

Smart, engaged, knowledgeable, thoughtful and community spirited, Kelly Calabria brings a lot to the table. From serving on the Lake Oswego Budget Committee to running a business, Kelly understands the duty and work involved in ensuring taxpayer dollars are wisely spent on the many school district projects coming online. As a volunteer and mother of two school age daughters, Kelly knows the importance of ensuring that all children succeed. Kelly's commitment to transparency, communication and sense of fairness is something we share and deeply believe in. As a city councilor, working with Kelly for the greater good would be a joy. For all of those reasons and more, Kelly Calabria has my vote.

Jackie Manz

Councilor, City of Lake Oswego

When in doubt, vote Calabria

Ballots are out. If you are not sure what to do or why, just vote for Kelly Calabria.

I'm voting for Kelly because I'm tired of feeling like our school board has some hidden agenda that has nothing to do with our kids. I want a school board that I trust and that actually makes me look forward to hearing their thoughts and opinions. Let's get someone in there that is actually there for our students and community.

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

Kris Whitney

Lake Oswego

Reelect John Wallin

I am supporting the reelection of John Wallin to the Lake Oswego School Board. John is a proven leader who truly cares about the future of all our students. In his time on the board he has been involved in every aspect of district governance. He considers the big picture and the long term when it comes to budgeting, educational programming, support services and facility planning.

John is a strategic thinker who understands what it takes to have a productive working relationship with the City that addresses cost efficient and potential shared use of community programs and facilities. After the election and arrival of our new school superintendent and city manager, I am looking forward to working more regularly with John and the board on how we can better utilize sports fields and gyms, finally determine a sensible direction for a new pool and park/recreation center and prioritize capital improvements for safe routes to schools for our students.

John Wallin will continue to be a solid advocate for Lake Oswego schools and for our school/City partnership.

John LaMotte

Lake Oswego City Councilor

Support Calabria as local candidate

I'm a teacher, a Lake Oswego parent and have known Kelly for a very long time. I met her years ago when she worked for the school district right out of college. Like Kelly, I'm an Independent and have no connection to partisan politics.

Watching this school board race, I can see how difficult it has become for someone like Kelly to run for school board. Her opponent has the party connections to get Salem endorsements, Salem money and even Salem walkers to knock on our doors. Kelly Calabria has none of that. The people knocking on doors asking you to vote for Kelly live here in Lake Oswego and believe in her. Those who have donated to her campaign live here in Lake Oswego and believe in her. Those who have endorsed Kelly live here in Lake Oswego and believe in her.

Please vote for Kelly Calabria, Lake Oswego's candidate in this race.

Nicole Moore

Lake Oswego

Vote Wallin — 21st century innovation in learning

As a mother of a kindergartener in the Spanish Immersion program, I ask you to vote for John Wallin. For the past eight years our district has offered this innovative program, and we have the data to show it works! Students entering high school now test into Spanish 4 and AP Spanish their freshman year. Not only is this program cost neutral (see the 2017-2018 World Language Report) there is a waiting list as long as those currently enrolled. This program does not diminish our district, but rather enriches opportunity much like the arts, STEM and sports.

After attending the Respond to Racism and LO for Love candidate forum, I am also voting for John because he is committed to continuing the work in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. I know I can count on John to support the program my child is currently thriving in, and him never diminishing the commitment bilingual learning requires. I am thankful for John's honesty, thoughtfulness and steady hand when facing complex issues in our district.

John understands the commitment to innovation is what our district needs! Vote John Wallin on May 21!

Alana Kent

Lake Oswego

John Wallin — For each and every child

I hope you read all of this letter — because it is important to the future of our children in Lake Oswego schools.

As a member of the Lake Oswego School Board, I have the opportunity to serve directly with some amazing board members in service to our community. That is why I am asking you to join me in voting to reelect John Wallin.

Open-hearted and kind, John is an incredible father, husband, dedicated community servant with an excellent record on our school board. He shows up every single day for each and every child in our district. John is a passionate leader focused on student success.

Along with Board Member Liz Hartman, John led the search for our new superintendent, and we need him to continue his school board service to help introduce Dr. de la Cruz to the community and support her vision.

Regarding transparency — when he served as chair of the school board, I watched John burning the midnight candle writing back personalized emails to countless questions from parents about our schools.

John Wallin was overwhelmingly supported in his first election 4 years ago, and he deserves our full support for reelection this year.

Rob Wagner

LO School Board member,

state senator

Support park bond

Nearly fifteen years ago, our group, Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection, partnered with the City of Lake Oswego Parks and Recreation Department to design, install and plant the botanical garden at the Luscher Farm house. Today, the Garden houses the only accredited clematis collection in North America and functions as an aesthetic display, center for education and research and a welcome outing and respite with interpretive labels, maps and materials. Our dedicated volunteers donated over 4,000 hours of time last year protecting the Collection, conducting classes and hosting visitors.

In addition to enhancing the quality of life for residents of Lake Oswego, a garden supports local property values and brings economic benefit. The Garden draws visitors who often extend their stay, shopping at local merchants, dining at restaurants and staying at local hotels.

No matter the weather or time of day, Lake Oswego residents can be seen walking through the Garden and pathways through and near Luscher Farm, benefiting from the city's investment in the space and facilities. These economic community investments are not possible without our parks bonds. Please vote "Yes" for the Measure 3-548 to ensure continued access to parks, recreation and natural resources now and for generations to come.

Phyllis McCanna,

board president of Friends of the Rogerson Clematis Collection

Lake Oswego

Calabria's list of qualifications goes on and on

Please join me in voting for Kelly Calabria for school board! Love this girl and her family! She is by far one of the most hardworking people I have ever met! She is very passionate about Lake Oswego as a whole. She runs a sustainability award-winning business, Kelly's Jelly, that she started from the ground up! She is a successful realtor! She has a black belt in taekwondo. She is a fantastic mother and wife! The list goes on and on. Did I mention she has received our City's Distinguished Citizen Award?

We are so fortunate to have Kelly Calabria willing to serve on our Lake Oswego School Board! Please vote for Kelly!

Kaitlin Johnson

Lake Oswego

John Wallin: facts and pragmatism

I met John during our time together on the school foundation board. I found John's commitment to the well-being of every child and family in our district to be a consistent thread in his work. John is hardworking and committed and especially as we face major cultural shifts and massive infrastructure investments we need unity on our school board.

John is a fact-based decision maker who's willing to listen to all sides and distill all data available to make informed decisions. His leadership approach and pragmatic style allows for a level of connectedness to those around him. Our students need to see examples like John so they know when serious issues face the district their voices will be championed and heard.

We need steady, experienced leaders on our school board who are thoughtful and pragmatic. Please join me in voting for John Wallin for Position 1.

Harmony George

Lake Oswego

Wallin's experience is key

John Wallin is the most experienced candidate for LO School Board. He has an impressive resume of results. And those results have been accomplished through a collaborative, respectful process.

John is a person of integrity and intelligence who invests a great deal of time listening and asking thoughtful questions to understand different perspectives. He studies the data. He has the wisdom from guiding two of his kids through the district and on to college and is still "in the game" with his youngest daughter a freshman. And his wife is a public school fourth grade teacher. The Wallins are invested in education.

With the bond spending in process, a new superintendent hired and the potential of levy funding too, I want an experienced proven leader who will not need to come up to speed. The school board is made up of 5 people. John Wallin has served for the past 4 years, including a year as chair. He is being endorsed by his fellow board members Rob Wagner, Sara Pocklington and Bob Barman. He's also endorsed by Kirsten Aird, who will be joining the board.

See who else is endorsing him: wallinforlosd.com

Derrith Lambka

Lake Oswego

Wallin is best candidate

I'm writing in support of re-electing John Wallin for the Lake Oswego School Board. John has worked hard at advocating for best practices in education and investing in our student's future. As an educator in Oregon and a parent of two children in the Lake Oswego School District, I value John's commitment to STEM, technology/career instruction and the welfare of our students. I commend John's devotion to improving community outreach by taking a lead in efforts to strengthen community engagement and policies related to diversity, equity and inclusion. John is a caring and devoted father and community leader, who is committed to striving for personalized support for each and every student.

I could not think of a better candidate to continue to represent the families of Lake Oswego's School District. Please join me in supporting John Wallin for reelection to the Lake Oswego School Board.

Melissa Parks

M.Ed., Special Education

Lake Oswego

Calabria will make lasting impact

Kelly Calabria worked very hard over 3 years to receive her 1st Dan black belt with World Champion Taekwondo in our Downtown Lake Oswego location. Becoming a black belt requires dedicating yourself to years of hard work and diligence and she carries these qualities well.

Black Belt testing pushes you to sharpen physical and mental fortitude to build great life skills and I believe Kelly has so much to share. Kelly is a magnificent mother and wife, her family always supported and cheered her on her training.

I whole heartedly support Kelly Calabria's run for the LO School Board and believe she will make a lasting positive impact with her bright and endearing personality in all her endeavors.

Je Gyoung Kim

'92 Olympic gold medalist

Lake Oswego

Wallin is fun, hard-working

It is my pleasure to endorse John Wallin for Lake Oswego school board. As President of the Lake Oswego Schools Foundation from 2007 to 2008, I served closely with John. John was an active board member, who single-handedly wrote the vast majority of Foundation materials (including regular newsletters and the annual report). We could count on John in a very difficult time, during the recession. An added plus: John is just a fun person to work with! Some of my favorite memories were working with John on behalf of school district students.

I was very pleased to support John when he was elected to the school board four years ago and I have watched his great work towards improving student success and his outreach to address issues of diversity, equity and inclusion in our District. I want to encourage every Lake Oswego voter to choose John Wallin, and please also vote yes on the Learning Levy. Let's keep our schools strong... and growing in the right direction!

Mary Solares

Former President,

LO Schools Foundation

Calabria is energetic, organized

Raised in Lake Oswego, Kelly Calabria, has been an active volunteer since her early years. I have had the pleasure of knowing Kelly for over 17 years. First, as a server for Riccardo's Restaurant, then as a child care worker and volunteer in my schools, as a real estate agent, as an independent business owner and, always, as my friend.

When I think of Kelly the first thing that comes to mind is "energetic." She has the talent to be able to organize her life to succeed in so many different ways. The mother of two Lake Oswego Schools students, she wants what is best for her daughters and the school district. Her belief in offering the best possible education, her intelligent insights and her carefully thought out decisions will be strong assets for the board. I wish her well with this new undertaking and know that the Lake Oswego School District will reap benefits from her service.

Nancy Hildick

Founding director,

West Hills Montessori Schools

Lake Oswego

Wallin is listener and doer

As a second generation Lake Oswegan, former Lake Oswego Schools Foundation President and 2017 School Bond campaign chair, I am encouraging everyone in our community to vote for John Wallin for Lake Oswego school board.

I first met John when we worked together on the Foundation Board of Directors, where the full impact of the great recession resulted in a massive loss of state education funding for our district and others. John was among the great leaders who rolled up his sleeves to get the word out to our great community that our schools needed help.

A few years later, I worked with John again as part of the school construction bond campaign when John was a school board member. John excels at distilling information and explaining complex district issues to the community. He is a listener and a doer.

I am "all in" with Wallin. We need to return John to the school board. I encourage everyone to support him — and the Learning Levy! — on May 21.

John Stirek

Lake Oswego Schools Foundation President 2010-11

All in for Wallin

Please join me and reward hard work, experience and reelect John Wallin. John has been involved in our schools since the early 2000s and has four years of school board experience and managing the bond extremely well. He is an advocate for equal opportunities for all children and achieving world class education. I have been a consistent supporter of strong schools, and the widespread benefits they bring not only to our community, but to the future generations. With a new superintendent, let's give her the support she needs and reelect John Wallin.

Doug Thomas

Lake Oswego

Vote local, vote Calabria

Having lived in Lake Oswego many years, we have seen our village grow into a city. Land has changed, buildings have changed, schools have changed but our values have not changed. We are a city that values community, integrity, relationships and respect for all. Kelly Calabria models these values. She has served our city for many years and understands what it means to give back. She has built many relationships over the years and is in not basing her decisions on political party or union affiliations.

Kelly has energy, intelligence and availability. Her daughters are in 4th and 6th grades and will progress through high school while Kelly is on the school board. Please join us in voting Kelly for LO School Board.

Vote local. Vote new ideas. Vote Kelly Riordan Calabria.

Angie and Steve Richards

Lake Oswego

Calabria's focus is on students

Raising money, knocking on doors, participating in forums, having one's name and face on mailers and signs, being publicly evaluated and sometimes criticized — why would anyone want to run for school board? Some people might do it as a step to another goal — the training for another office or assignment. Kelly Calabria simply wishes to serve our students. She is a native Oswegan — born and raised here. Giving back is in her DNA. She has served on LO Mother's Club, Citizen Budget Committee, Natural Resource Advisory Board, LO Leadership, LO Cert training and Westlake HOA. So it is no surprise that as her daughters progress through our public school system, Kelly wants to serve on our school board. She is a great listener, has worked in our school system, welcomes others' opinions, is very available and is able to make tough decisions when needed. Join me in voting Kelly Calabria for LO School Board.

Keep our school board local. Vote Kelly.

Cyndi Hadel and Charles Michaels

Lake Oswego

Thanks to Palisades

Thank you to the Palisades Market for generously collecting our beverage containers. Palisades employees collect, sort and then donate the money to our schools. Palisades is the only market to provide this service and I appreciate all their work.

Sue Chesholm

Lake Oswego

Election should be wake-up call

Keeping politics local in Lake Oswego is important for the future of this community and our current school board election is troubling, to say the least. What's happening is alarming and should be a wake-up call for us all.

Outside interests are making sure they have their agendas covered. Salem PACs are making significant contributions to this local election. In John Wallin's case, almost one-third of his total money raised comes from outside of LO. He even has a $6,500 contribution from the union he negotiates salary contracts with as a school board director. While perhaps legal, it certainly brings up conflict of interest issues. Who does Mr. Wallin truly represent?

The influence of partisan politics in this school board race is disturbing. In a non-partisan race, why are partisan interests flooding this election with mailers, in-kind contributions and neighborhood walkers? Are we now going to have a "party" platform for school board elections? Will locally supported non-partisan community members be deterred from stepping up to serve our community and children?

I am supporting Kelly Calabria this election. We need locally connected people serving on our school board. We need change, independent thinking, a fresh perspective.

Please join me. Vote Kelly for school board.

John Wendland

Lake Oswego

Park system is vital

I live across the street from a Lake Oswego park, and each day I witness firsthand the community benefits of having a robust network of city parks and open spaces. They improve our physical and psychological health, strengthen our sense of belonging and make our city a more attractive place to live and work. Numerous studies have shown the social, environmental, economic and health benefits parks bring to a city. I also see the need for improvements and expansion of our current park network. As some of our facilities age, and usage increases, it is important that we continue the funding that provides equal access and opportunity for everyone in our city, regardless of where they live and of their income level. As the existing parks bonds are set to expire, now is the time to renew those bonds and to ensure that future generations have the same great access to sport and recreation. Please join me in voting YES on the Lake Oswego Parks Bond.

Jon Gustafson

Lake Oswego


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