Meet Addy Kessler, Lincoln High School’s Instructor of Ceramics and the Art of Product Design. With a Bachelor’s Degree in Studio Art from Macalester College, and a Master’s Degree in Teaching Visual Art from Lewis and Clark, she’s leading hands-on career and technical education (CTE) courses that teach her students career-ready skills like clothing design, jewelry creation and entrepreneurship.
When Addy started at Lincoln, she taught on her personal sewing machine – her 15 students took turns guiding the needle and thread while their peers looked on. They practiced on scrap fabrics donated from local businesses. That all changed when Measure 98 funds hit her classroom.
“Measure 98 funds allow us to buy the tools and materials to actually do our jobs,” Addy says.
In just one year, the number of students Addy teaches has quadrupled from 15 to 65. Her classes now explore purchasing costs as well, so students learn about wholesale expenses and profit margins.
A Lincoln HS student designing pants in Addy Kessler’s classroom
This is just the beginning – Addy has big plans and hopes lawmakers will deliver full Measure 98 funding to help her achieve them.
“I love donations, and I am grateful for the local businesses who have been willing to share, and partner with us. Our community partners are incredible for supporting these classes, but more funding has allowed us to expand beyond just donations and create a truly sustainable program.”
Addy is a perfect example of how educators across Oregon are making the most of what is available to them. While only funded at 57 percent of its intended level, Measure 98 is allowing teachers to create career-focused opportunities their students would otherwise miss out on.
“I’m at 65 students now, and my goal is 150. I know the equipment I want to buy. I know what resources I will need to budget for to break from relying solely on donations. I just need the funding to do it.”
Fully funding Measure 98 in 2019 will allow Addy – and countless teachers just like her across our state – to build on the tremendous success they’ve already achieved. But that outcomes depends on more people sharing their Measure 98 success stories, just like Addy.
If you have questions, email me directly at [email protected]. You can also reach Stand for Children’s Portland Metro Organizer, Elona Wilson, at [email protected], or our Lane County Director, Joy Marshall, at [email protected].