The Oregon school board is expected to fill a vacancy on the board at a special meeting on Monday.
Jeff Ziviski, vice president of the board, told The Press last week that someone will be appointed to fill the seat that opened after P.J. Kapfhammer abruptly resigned at the start of the June 9 board meeting. Kapfhammer, who was president of the board, had been elected in 2011.
By The Press deadline on Thursday, four people have expressed an interest in the seat, including an ex-mayor, a veteran police officer, a pastor and a former member of the school board.
Former Oregon Mayor Marge Brown, who was elected to Oregon City Council in 1989 before becoming mayor from 2001-2009, sent a letter of interest to Superintendent Dr. Lonny Rivera.
Brown was a teacher for 39 years, 37 of them in the Oregon school district, teaching in grades 3 through 6. She retired in May, 1996 from Eisenhower Middle School.
“At the present time, I am still involved in the education of our youths by serving on Kateri/Cardinal Stritch School Board, the Eagle Learning School Board, and the Vail Therapeutic Board. I feel I have a lot to offer to you and the students, and I will support you as our school system goes forward,” stated Brown in the letter.
Brown lost her re-election bid to current Mayor Mike Seferian in 2009.
Paul Magdich, assistant chief of police, also wants to be considered for the seat. He has been a public servant in the city for more than 28 years. Magdich started as a patrolman in the Oregon Police Division in 1986. He later became a police sergeant, detective sergeant, assistant chief of police, and acting chief.
“I have helped to build a solid relationship between the school system and the police division, and have supported the partnership of both organizations on a daily basis,” said Magdich in his cover letter to the school board. I believe that through these acts and others, I have demonstrated a commitment to this community and its citizens both young and old. I have also been a coach at Clay High School for 10 years. I believe that I have a solid reputation in this community as an advocate for Oregon. I have considerable experience with labor issues and contract negotiations, as I have negotiated as past president of both the command officers’ and patrolmen’s unions and on behalf of the city in my current position. I believe that to be a valuable asset, as well with contract negotiations pending.”
Brandon Williams, pastor of Hope Community Church in Oregon, is also interested.
“As a former teacher, I have personally experienced the challenges of educating students that come from a variety of backgrounds and home environments,” he stated in his letter. “As a pastor, I have developed the skills to cast a compelling vision for an organization, share and celebrate the right success stories to foster energy and momentum, and to raise funding in order to provide the resources needed to continually live into the vision.”
Diana Gadus, who was elected to the board in 2009, but did not seek re-election last November, sent a letter to the board seeking appointment to the seat.
“All of my business, community and education experiences provide me with unique insights, which I have drawn on to support my decisions as a previous school board member,” said Gadus in her letter to the board.
She is currently a substitute teacher for Toledo Public Schools and Washington Local Schools. She is also an independent consultant as a mental athletic coach.
Gadus often bumped heads with Kapfhammer while she was on the board. In 2012, she alleged that Kapfhammer made threatening comments to her at a policy meeting in the conference room of the administration building. She filed an incident report with the school administration about the heated meeting. Gadus had stated that she and Kapfhammer had been discussing contract renewals for the next board meeting when the verbal altercation occurred. Kapfhammer at the time denied he had threatened her.
Gadus told The Press last week that she is not interested in returning to the board because Kapfhammer resigned.
“Absolutely not. I loved being on the school board,” said Gadus. She said she did not seek re-election because she started working full-time, and she wanted to spend more time with her six children and two grandchildren.
“Life got busy,” she said. “Children need a lot of time and energy. It became too much. I didn’t think I had time to put into it. Since then, my husband and I made some changes that freed up more time. Life is more peaceful, calm and relaxing.”