Salem-Keizer School Board will interview and decide on Zone 6 candidates

After an executive session, the Salem-Keizer Public Schools Board of Trustees will meet Tuesday at 6 p.m. for its next business session.

The council continues to meet in person but only allows members of the public to participate virtually.

Community members can testify by phone, Zoom or in writing. A lottery system will be used to select speakers, based on the board’s agenda, and 45 minutes will be allocated for public comments.

The focus of the evening will be to fill the Zone 6 seat after the recent resignation of Danielle Bethell.

Danielle Bethell, former member of the Salem-Keizer school board.

Bethell was elected in 2019 to represent the Keizer area on the seven-member school board. In 2020, she successfully ran as a Republican to also serve as Marion County Commissioner.

On October 10, Bethell notified board leadership Superintendent Christy Perry and board attorney Paul Dakopolos via email that she was resigning, effective immediately. She provided no additional information or explanation.

After:Danielle Bethell resigns from Salem-Keizer Public Schools Board of Trustees

Per Oregon law explained in board documents, a new Salem-Keizer board member will be appointed to the position until June 30, which would have been the end of Mr. Bethel. The regular election in May will determine who will serve the next four-year term of the seat.

The board plans to interview the candidates and name their selection at Tuesday’s meeting.

The board is also expected to vote Tuesday on its superintendent hiring process and will discuss a proposed property purchase for an expansion of the district’s career technology aviation program.

The Salem-Keizer Public Schools Board of Trustees will meet Tuesday to appoint a new board member.

The board held initial interviews with candidates Thursday via Zoom at a special midday meeting. If necessary, the council can hold an additional special session on November 15 to finalize the decision. The holder will then take an oath.

To be eligible, candidates must be residents of Salem-Keizer Zone 6 and have resided in the zone for at least one year, be registered voters of the district, and not be employees of the district.

Ten people applied for the position.

During Thursday’s interviews, the candidates indicated that they were assisting in the search for a new superintendent after Perry’s retirement and that they addressed the social and academic impacts of COVID-19 as some of their top priorities.

Meet the Zone 6 Candidates

Here is some information about each candidate. The biographies are organized in the order presented in the board documents.

Clifford “Bob” Bemrose works for Legacy Health. According to his resume, he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Southern Oregon University in 1999 and a master’s degree in applied information management from the University of Oregon in 2014.

Julianne Jackson works for the Security and Justice Partnership. She is known in the community for her leadership with Black Joy Oregon. In her Thursday interview, she told the board that she was a former Salem-Keizer student who experienced homelessness and was impacted by the justice system. She is now a mother in the neighborhood.

Marc Lidtke is a retired middle school teacher. He worked in the Woodburn School District for 30 years, according to his resume. He grew up and graduated from Salem-Keizer schools, as did his three adult children, according to his candidacy. Five of his grandchildren now attend district schools, two of whom he says live with Lidtke and his wife.

Sue Myers is retired, after a career in various academic positions beginning in 1977. According to her resume, Myers has worked as a teacher, substitute teacher, teaching assistant, librarian, adjunct college instructor and more. She is also a Salem-Keizer graduate.

Rebecca Ramirez works as a freelance real estate agent and has school-aged children. According to her candidacy, if nominated, she would particularly like to focus on strengthening special education and dual language programs.

Thais Brandao Rodick works for the Oregon Lottery. She has two students who currently attend the district’s Valley Inquiry Charter School in Salem. She said in a video recording that she wanted to make the voices of charter families heard and ensure they were included.

Anthony Rosilez is the executive director of the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. He has held nearly every school post in his career, depending on his candidacy, from substitute to superintendent to statewide oversight. According to his resume, Rosilez was named National Latin Teacher and Administrative Lawyer of the Year in 2021.

Stephanie Russel is the independent owner of Pacific Packing Solutions. In running her business and raising her children, Russel, in her Thursday interview, said she uses measurable short- and long-term goals to get things done. She has a strong financial background, she said, due to her background in business.

Robert Salazar is retired after 45 years of study. He was principal of Washington and Meyers Elementary Schools in Salem-Keizer, according to his resume. He said he has also worked as a teacher, counselor and vice principal, as well as with the district’s migrant education programs.

Ross Ziesemer works for Optum Services, Inc. in Salem. He is a parent in the district and said he wanted to work within the school board with a more united front. According to his resume, Ziesemer served as a campus counselor at North Salem High School in the early 2000s and afterward worked for about five years for Oregon Child Protective Services.

View the complete candidate application documents here.

People can watch the meeting in English or Spanish via CC:Media’s YouTube channel or CC:Media’s Channel 21. For more information, visit salkeiz.k12.or.us/schoolboard.

Natalie Pate covers education for the Statesman Journal. Send him your comments, questions and tips at [email protected] or 503-399-6745. Follow her on Twitter @NataliePateGwin.

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