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Eye on the School Board

Candidate has local connections, endorsements

2/21/2017, 5:15 p.m.
An educator connected to the community has obtained a significant list of endorsements to launch a campaign to run for ...
Jamila Singleton Munson

An educator connected to the community has obtained a significant list of endorsements to launch a campaign to run for the Portland School Board.

Jamila Singleton Munson is running for the Zone 4 position to represent north and northeast Portland on the seven-member panel. She would be the only black member if elected based on how the board is currently comprised.

Munson graduated from Grant High School in 1997 and was a Pamplin fellow as part of a peer leadership program at Self Enhancement, Inc. She went on to earn degrees at the University of Oregon and Pace University. Her career has included work as a teacher and school principal in New York and Los Angeles.

“Having worked directly with students from diverse backgrounds, I can say with confidence that every child can grow and succeed in the right learning environment,” said Munson. “The board must establish a clear vision for how we can meet the needs of all students and ensure the administration is accountable for achieving that vision.”

Munson has a significant base of local support, including former State Sen. Avel Gordly, early childhood leader Charles McGee, education equity expert Kate Woicke and local business leader Andrew Colas. Longtime equity advocates Lee Po Cha, Kali Thorne Ladd, Hanif Fazal and Nichole Maher have also endorsed her.

“Jamila is a leader of high character whose experience as an educator, administrator, researcher, and advocate for opportunity uniquely orients her to effect positive change in Portland Public Schools,” said Andrew Colas, president of Colas Construction. “Her intelligence, passion for service, collaborative spirit and proven commitment to equity and inclusion would be an unmatched asset to our young people and I am proud to wholeheartedly support her candidacy.”

“We need smart, capable leaders at the Portland School Board to help us improve achievement and forge partnerships with the community,” said Avel Gordly. “She has the skills, experience and style we need working for us. Please join me in supporting her.”

Munson serves on state of Oregon’s Next Generation Working Group contributing to education accountability systems. She also works with novice educators and trainers to provide professional educational development, particularly in providing rigorous and culturally relevant instruction, and content that resonates with today’s diverse student population.