Janet Ruddell

Candidate for Corbett School District School Board

April 26, 2011

A little about who I am:

I was born and raised on a small farm in Gresham, Oregon.  Growing up, our family of nine raised livestock, nourished a large garden, and my sisters and I participated in 4-H.  As a member of the Future Farmers of America during high school, I served as an officer and traveled to state, regional and national conventions.

For the past ten years my family and I have lived in Corbett.  I’m the mother of three sons.  My oldest son recently graduated from college after receiving a dual degree in secondary education from Carroll College in Helena, Montana.  He’s currently substitute teaching until a full-time teaching position becomes available.  My eighth grade son currently attends Corbett Middle School and will attend Corbett High School in the fall. My youngest son currently attends kindergarten.

I’m currently employed by the Portland Public Schools’ Enrollment and Transfer Center as a Data Analyst.   Additional duties include: configure and maintain web-based School Choice database system (including transfers into and out of PPS), conduct spring and summer transfer lotteries, design relational databases, and maintain the School Choice website in six languages.

Why are you running for the CSD board?

I have three primary reasons for running for the Corbett School Board:
· To promote transparency
· To improve communication between the community, superintendent and school board
· To advocate for change to ensure the students of our school district receive the quality education they deserve in a fiscally responsible manner


What impact do you hope to have on the Board?

The school board needs to become more inclusive and transparent by bringing community members to the table to get their input, support and participation in the decision-making process.  As a school board member I would like to facilitate informal work sessions with the community, school administration and school board in a collaborative effort to find workable solutions to problems that face the Corbett School District.  To ensure success in this endeavor, effective communication and transparency are both key.

What new ideas might you bring to the position you are applying for?

My ideas are:
·      Increase funding by applying for federally funded grants
·      Increase funding by reducing the number inter-district transfers out of the Corbett School District
·      Increase funding by providing tutoring services to struggling students in Corbett vs. contracting with alternative education programs (i.e., Alpha High School, etc); thus reducing contracted services and transportation costs
·      Reduce supply costs by asking families for voluntary donations at the beginning of the school year (i.e., print cartridges, cases of paper, optional $10 supply fee, etc.)
·      Reduce costs for AP exams; change AP exams to optional or limit the number of exams the district funds

What are the strengths you have to bring to this position?

For 24 years I’ve worked for the largest school district in the state – the Portland School District (PPS).  During this time, I’ve had a working relationship with several PPS School Board members, and I’m familiar with board polices and administrative directives.
I believe the knowledge and experience I’ve acquired at PPS has prepared me to serve the Corbett community, the Corbett School Board, and our most important asset, students.

What do you feel are the challenges facing the CSD and school board today and what would you like to see happen to address them?

The Corbett School District (CSD) will continue to face challenging financial times.  It will be important for the school board to maintain a balance between consistent, quality education and fiscal responsibility.  I want to ensure that the taxpayers of the CSD are getting the most out of their tax dollars.  It’s plain and simple the CSD needs to live within a budget.  Outlined above are my ideas to increase funding and reduce costs.
I think I can speak for most parents, school staff and the community that we’re extremely concerned for the safety of all our students attending our schools considering the increased traffic on our roads and congestion in our schools’ parking lots.  During pick-up and drop-off times are especially bad.  I anticipate more traffic next year due to the increase in the number of Corbett Charter School students (130).
I hate to say it, but I believe it’s just a matter of time before someone is seriously hurt or worse.  The problem needs to be addressed as soon as possible.   I have two recommendations.  First, start a Corbett Safety Patrol program using parent volunteers or high school students wishing to earn community service credit.  Second, mandate that K-9 Corbett Charter School (CCS) students take a bus from the Corbett Community Church or Reynolds Natural Resources Academy parking lot.  I’ve excluded CCS students in grades 10-12 because I believe that many drive themselves.
I look forward to serving the students, families and tax payers of the Corbett School District.
Janet Ruddell invites people to download her campaign sign to use on their cars.
Select this link to download the pdf to print.

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Each candidate has been invited to participate and share their personal statements and answers to five questions. If you would like to see the list of candidates invited to participate and that are running for the CSD schoool board, please select here.