May 4, 2007 Volume 108 Number 9

NOLC supports two challengers for Portland School Board

The Northwest Oregon Labor Council has endorsed two challengers running for school board seats at Portland Public Schools.

The council supports neighborhood activist Ruth Adkins in Zone 1 and social worker Michele Schultz in Zone 2. Adkins is running against incumbent Doug Morgan, while Schultz is challenging incumbent David Wynde.

Schultz holds a master’s degree in social work from Boston College. She has two children at Winterhaven K-8 school in inner Southeast Portland. She is a past PTA president and an active volunteer.

“We’ve been through a lot of turmoil,” she told the NOLC Executive Board. “I got mad enough to run for office.”

Shultz said she was “appalled” when school custodial jobs were contracted out. “What was touted as a money-saver will end up costing the district a lot of money,” she said.

Adkins, founder of the Neighborhood Schools Alliance group, also opposes contracting out and is happy to see the regular custodians coming back.

A graduate of Yale University who works as a market research analyst, Adkins lives in the Hillsdale neighborhood of Southwest Portland and has three children in the Portland School District.

Adkins said citizens in the community, teachers and other school employees are feeling disenfranchised. “They feel they’re not being heard in a lot of the decision-making,” she said.

Both candidates say they want to involve the community more and improve communications of the board.

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