Lars Best for North Clackamas School Board
Your "Best" Blue-Collar Working-Class Vote
The Campaign Kicks Off
April 21, 2021
Hello and thank you for visiting my site.
I believe that I am the best candidate to represent working-class families in our community. I am asking for your vote for the North Clackamas School Board position #6.
My family moved from the Eugene, OR area in 1976 when I was three years old to our home on the Portland Clackamas border. My mother still lives in the same house. I attended Battin Elementary, then Rowe Jr. High, and graduated from Milwaukie High School in 1991.
After High School, I spent a year at Clackamas Community College and struggled to find my path. I decided to join the US Coast Guard, as I could also see that it would be difficult to make it to a bachelor's degree financially. I grew up in a family that values military service, my grandfather, uncle, and father being combat veterans. Having the GI Bill was a great benefit while I was an apprentice. It supplemented my income and I was able to support my young family.
Coming out of the Coast Guard, I took a job repairing semi-truck and large equipment tires. I found out through one of my co-workers about the electrical apprenticeship. It was surprising how difficult it was to get accepted into the apprenticeship program. I had a year of college, was pretty good at math, and had the extra points for being a veteran. I figured I was a shoo-in. It was still difficult.
I went through the Area 1 JATC electrical apprenticeship program at Clackamas Community College and continued to complete my Associate Degree in Industrial Technology. I am now a General Supervising Electrician in Oregon and a Master Electrician in Washington. I have owned my own Electrical Contracting business.
I have two young daughters attending Happy Valley Elementary, first and second grade. My older son graduated from Clackamas High School.
Returning the kids to full-time instruction is a priority for most. I agree, but what will that look like? Supporting our kids' mental health is one of the main reasons I am running. I don't just say this for political gain. I am a trauma survivor myself. We need a solid base to start from if we want to build.
After the year our kids have faced, mental health support in our schools will be crucial, not just for academic success but also for the physical and psychological health of these kids now and for the rest of their lives.
We need to use some of our CARES money to hire more school counselors.
We need to partner with community organizations, non-profits, churches, and even social work graduate programs to get mental health professionals in our buildings working with our kids.
We need to bring in more trauma-informed training for our staff (licensed and certified) to prepare better to meet the needs- both mentally and academically- of our students.
We need to get families connected to the resources they need!
I will foster partnerships with the building trades, to offer alternatives and opportunities for our young adults looking to begin a career in the trades.
I will focus on a well-rounded traditional education.
I am committed to finding funds for music, physical education, and afterschool academic programs.
I will provide oversight and review of capital projects. I will closely monitor our bond money investments.
I would like to explore more educational options similar to Sojourner and El Puente school models. I feel that they help build diversity.