By DON McINTOSH
Oregon School Employees Association has a new top officer. Sarah Wofford, an accounting specialist at the Grants Pass campus of Rogue Community College, outpolled incumbent Lisa Gourley and became president June 25 at the union’s annual conference.
Wofford, 45, went to work for the community college in 2011 after graduating there, and took an interest in the union contract. She joined the bargaining committee, became president of OSEA Chapter 152 in 2015 and later OSEA Zone V director.
Now she’s taking a leave of absence from work to work full time, working two days a week in OSEA’s Salem headquarters, traveling around the state to visit members, and working from home the rest of the time.
“My big thing is member engagement,” Wofford said. “We’re a member-run union, and I’m one vote out of tens of thousands.”
More than anything else, she enjoys talking with fellow OSEA members, and even included her personal phone number in the union newsletter that went out to all OSEA members. OSEA represents about 22,000 school district support employees, ranging from school secretaries and cafeteria workers to school bus drivers and teacher aides.