Have you checked your mailbox this week? Amongst the junk mail, catalogs, and coupons is something much more exciting (and important!) – you should be receiving your Voters’ Pamphlets and ballots.
You don’t even have to leave your home to make a huge difference for Oregon’s students. Voting for strong leaders who put education at the top of their priorities is an excellent way to stand up for children. Just see what Janeen Sollman is excited about partnering with us on when she's in Salem:
"One of the programs I’m passionate about and hope to expand if elected to the legislature is Career Technical Education (CTE), which provides students with technical training in addition to an academic education. I believe firmly in growing our CTE programs to give our children opportunities while they’re still in school, so when they graduate, they already have a pathway to a good paying job. In Salem, I will fight to make our education system more dynamic for our economy, for small business growth and to build a stronger future for our students."
Among the legislators we endorsed, who you can read about here, are four rising stars who will add fresh ideas to policy discussions because they understand that improving outcomes for students today leads to a better Oregon tomorrow.
Julie aims to improve Oregon’s abysmal graduation rates by focusing on the factors that affect it the most: early literacy, chronic absenteeism, and career technical education. Sarah Case, a Eugene school parent and language arts teacher, speaks up about her excitement to see Julie Fahey join the Oregon Legislature:
“Julie will be an excellent representative in Salem. She listens carefully and studies the issues to become a knowledgeable and valuable contributor to any conversation. We appreciate Julie's honest and smart questions and her focus on creative and practical solutions.”
With knowledge of the hurdles and challenges families face at home, how that impacts learning, and what can be done to set all students up for success, Teresa will focus on support for students to improve attendance rates. She is excited about the opportunity to give back:
"As the first in my family to graduate from college, education was my path to success. Because of the teachers and school counselors who believed in me, I have dedicated my career to giving back by advocating for increased access to quality education, so that every student can find their path to success and achieve the American Dream."
A member of the Hillsboro School Board, Janeen has plenty of experience working on behalf of students and their parents. Her goal is to improve early reading rates and expand career technical education:
"If you want to to learn about what drives me and what fuels my passion for serving our community, talk to me about education. My position on the school board and being an active 20+ year volunteer in the community will provide a unique lens to the issues we face in our district. I believe an educated workforce is the cornerstone of a thriving community and it is our duty to help prepare these students for their future, because they are our future."
An advocate for low-income students and students of color, Janelle plans to tackle systemic factors that persist in keeping the achievement gap from shrinking:
"My parents were both public school teachers who took the opportunity to better life for our family and the families they served – by being strong advocates for education. As a mother of four and a volunteer in my local public schools, education is every bit as important to me as it was to them. Strong public schools, from pre-kindergarten to post-graduate, are key to creating opportunity for every Oregonian. In Salem, I will never lose sight of that, and I’ll make funding for smaller class sizes, higher graduation rates, and career technical education a priority."
We think they'll fit right in with the rest of our strong education leaders. So kick your feet up, vote, and be sure to get your ballot back in the mail as soon as possible!