Multnomah Education Service District

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MESD Board Scholarship Announcement 

December 16, 2016
The MESD Board met Tuesday, December 13 for its final meeting of 2016.  The highlight of the meeting was the Board's announcement that it will award $5,000 in college scholarships in 2017 to outstanding students pursuing post-secondary education opportunities. Funding for the scholarships resulted from the Board's participation in the Oregon School Boards Association's Promise Scholarship Program. Boards that were Promise Scholarship selected to participate in the program and completed all the requirements earned scholarship money for their districts. The program required board members to devote an additional 10 hours of service to complete a board project, conduct board self-evaluations, and participate in the Promise of Oregon campaign. 

The board will receive the $5,000 check from OSBA for these scholarships and the completion of the program at the January board meeting.  Details about the scholarships, including directions for applying, are available on the board webpage.  Interested parties may also contact Board Secretary Heather Severns at with questions.


A message from MESD Board Chair Stephen Marc Beaudoin
December 16, 2016
As 2016 draws to a close we reflect thoughtfully on the progress of the agency and our hopes for 2017.

There is renewed vigor and life at MESD today - you can absolutely feel it. Much of this renewal is a reflection of the leadership of our new Superintendent Sam Breyer and his strong work in collaboration with the entire agency staff, board, component districts, students, families, and community partners. Nearly six months into his tenure, Superintendent Breyer has shown himself to be the right leader at the right time for MESD. Our board is very pleased and proud of Superintendent Breyer's performance to date, and of how the entire agency has responded to his leadership.

While we are confident the most troubled times for MESD are well behind us, we know there is so much important, hard work ahead. Our strategic planning process; our continued learning and work in equity, diversify, and inclusion; continually evolving our education services to meet the needs of tomorrow's students; and advocating for appropriate funding for the services and schools our students deserve. This is just some of the critical work ahead for MESD.

In an unpredictable and often scary world today, it is reassuring to be part of a regional agency that supports students most in need; that offers excellent education services critical to our community's success; and that does it with respect, commitment, and deep care. Our board is healthy, high functioning, and strong. Superintendent Breyer and the agency staff are on the right path. The next chapter at MESD is looking brighter than ever.

We hope the upcoming winter break will provide our staff, students, and partners with a well-deserved rest and wish you all a very happy new year.

Stephen Marc Beaudoin, Chair
Multnomah ESD Board of Directors

Administrative Announcement: Jim Rose accepts new position with Sherwood School District
December 16, 2016
Today, Sherwood School District announced the selection of Jim Rose as its new Chief Operations Officer. Mr. Rose will begin his new position on January 9th.  Over the winter break, Superintendent Breyer will begin the process of determining plans to support the agency in the continued delivery of business, facilities, and technology services during Mr. Rose’s transition and for the remainder of the 2016-17 school year.  More information about those plans will be provided when available.

Statement from Superintendent Sam Breyer and Board Chair Stephen Beaudoin:

As Chief Operating Officer, Director of Technology Services, and Interim Superintendent Jim Rose provided calm and measured leadership during times of changing business models, advances in technology, and periods of key leadership transitions. As Interim Superintendent, Jim helped the agency strengthen relationships with local component districts and fostered positive relationships with employee associations and staff through his commitment to communication, transparency, and equity.  Jim has been a tremendous contributor and leader to this organization and he will be missed.  We wish him the very best of luck and greatest success in his next position with Sherwood School District.

Statement from Mr. Rose:

The Multnomah ESD is an incredible place.  I have enjoyed working with and serving the dedicated staff who do so much for our students.  I know how fortunate I am to work here, and so it is with excitement and a little sadness that I’m announcing that I am leaving MESD in January 2017 to start a new position as Chief Operations Officer with the Sherwood School District.  Sherwood recently passed a $247 million bond and my new position will have a pivotal role in implementing the infrastructure that the bond funding supports.  This opportunity will be life-changing for me and my family, allowing me to have more time with my kids who attend school in Sherwood. 

For the next three weeks, I will be working closely with Superintendent Breyer to ensure a smooth transition.  The administrators in the technology, facilities, and business services departments are respected professionals with expertise and experience and the agency is in very good hands with them and Superintendent Breyer.  It’s been an incredible 10 years and I thank all of you for letting me be a part of it.

Riverside students clearing road
School may be closed today, but our students are still learning!
December 15, 2016
Young Women Transition Program students at Riverside High School are using the new tractor to clear the driveways and roads at Oak Creek Correctional Facility. Said Principal Joy Koenig, "This is a great high wage skill that our students are learning!"

Strategic Planning Update
December 13, 2016
The Strategic Plan Steering Committee met recently to share ideas and establish common ground in its ongoing pursuit of drafting the mission, vision, values, goals and strategies for MESD. 

Riverside High School students attend Albany Youth Job Fair
December 13, 2016
Riverside students attended a Youth Resource and Career Fair in Albany on Tuesday, December 13. The trip included mock interviews, and over 60 businesses and higher education venues were offered. This event was hosted by the Albany Area Chamber of Commerce. 
Riverside Students at Youth Job Fair  Job Fair

Congratulations to Ocean Dunes graduates!
December 12, 2016
On Monday, December 12, six Ocean Dunes students and graduates gathered together with MESD staff to celebrate their graduations. "These are Ocean Dunes' first graduates in over a year, and we are proud of their efforts and the hard work they have put in. They have continuing education plans which include college and skilled work," said Principal Joy Koenig.
Ocean Dunes Graduates Graduate Tristin
 (Pictured, from left to right - Photo 1: Graduates Ethan, Nick, Martin and Roland;
Photo 2: Graduate Tristin with family; not pictured, Graduate Jose)
November 30, 2016
Two Ocean Dunes youth, Nick and Ethan, graduated today in a ceremony attended by Superintendent Sam Breyer, Principal Joy Koenig, and staff at Ocean Dunes High School.  For further education, Ethan is working on his Veterinary Technician certification and Nick has his Flagger's certification and is also working towards his Forklift certification.  Go Vikings! 
Ocean Dunes Graduates  Ocean Dunes Graduates
(Pictured, from left to right - Photo 1: Educational Assistant Kelly Kawahara, Graduate Ethan, Superintendent Sam Breyer, Graduate Nick, Teacher Carol Bessett; Photo 2: Superintendent Breyer, Graduate Ethan, Graduate Nick, Principal Joy Koenig)

Instructional Leadership Academy at MESD
November 30, 2016
This morning, 37 educators attended an amazing "hands-on, minds-on" learning experience with author/educator Michael DiSpezio: Redesigning Instruction for Next Generation Science Standards K-8.
Redesigning Instruction 1
Part of the Instructional Leadership Academy @ MESD, this high quality professional development event brought educators from across Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties to learn practical strategies to teach key science concepts.

Participant comments:
"I learned clever, inexpensive ways to model science concepts to my students."
"I learned how to implement Next Generation Science Standards with hands-on activities."
Redesigning Instruction 3
"I learned the big conceptual shifts of NGSS compared to the old science standards."
"I valued learning about NGSS and how to incorporate thinking strategies into reading and math instruction."
"I valued the self-directed approach to science instruction."  
Learn more about upcoming School Improvement Training Events HERE.

MESD Kicks Off Strategic Planning Process
November 15, 2016
Tonight's Board meeting marks the kick-off for Multnomah ESD's strategic planning process.  The video below provides an overview of the process which is guided by a 29 member steering committee of students, parents, community partners, component district leaders, education assistants, teachers, nurses, employee association leadership and department staff. For more information, please visit our Strategic Plan Web Page, here, or at

MESD Board Proclamation
November 15, 2016
Video by Lafcadio Adams

October is Principal Appreciation Month
October 26, 2016
Thank you to our wonderful principals and assistant principals for your leadership and commitment to serving students.
MESD Principals
(Pictured: MESD Principals and Assistant Principals Jeremy Berliss, Patrick McArthur, Dawn Joella-Jackson, Scott Ryan, Sarah Davis, Joy Koenig, Dan Cohnstaedt. Not pictured: Joni Tolon.)

MESD welcomes Nursing Supervisor Michelle Much
September 27, 2016
Michelle Much has been selected as the new nursing supervisor in the School Health Services department. She will be supervising nurses and a school health assistant serving East County schools; Centennial, Corbett, David Douglas, Gladstone, Gresham-Barlow, Parkrose, Reynolds and MESD schools; Wheatley, Arata Creek, and Helensview.Michelle Much
Ms. Much brings over 10 years of nursing experience to the position, the majority of which was spent in community/public health (case management, early childhood, maternal/child health, Nurse Family Partnership, Parents as Teachers, Asthma home visiting, Trauma Informed Care and ACEs, parent/child relationship education, and community leadership).  She also brings early career experience in Med/Surg, Labor and Delivery, Intensive Care Unit/Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, Skilled Nursing Facilities, and Home Health. Ms. Much earned her Bachelor's degree in nursing from Montana State University and will be starting on her Master's degree Spring 2017. She is also a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC).
Her hobbies include reading, kayaking, knitting, camping, exploring Oregon and spending time with family.
She began her position September 8th.

MESD participates in the 2016 Buddy Walk with the Northwest Down Syndrome Association
2016 Buddy Walk
September 27, 2016
On Saturday September 24th, MESD Superintendent Sam Breyer, Board member Mary Botkin and MESD employees, family and friends participated in the 2016 Buddy Walk with our friends at Northwest Down Syndrome Association (NWDSA). This the ninth year of the walk, which raises awareness about resources for individuals and families.  MESD is a proud partner of the NWDSA.

Multnomah ESD welcomes Christine Otto
to Instructional Services
September 15, 2016
Christine Otto has been selected as a Supervisor in the Instructional Services department, providing coaching and support to program administrators. 

Christine Otto Ms. Otto brings over 18 years of teaching and administrative experience to the position including 8 years as a Principal and Assistant Principal in elementary, middle, and high schools. She served most recently as a Principal and Title III Director in the Gaston School District.  Her experience includes K-12 ELL, Migrant Education, TAG, GED prep, credit for proficiency and alternative programs.   Ms. Otto began her career in education as an ELL and English teacher and high school swim coach.    

Originally from Texas, Ms. Otto moved to the Pacific Northwest in 1998 because she wanted to be closer to the mountains and the ocean. When not working, Christine and her husband, Jerry, enjoy spending their time hiking, running, biking, and exploring. Christine is also an admitted bibliophile and loves to sneak in literary pilgrimages wherever she travels.

Ms. Otto earned her Bachelor of Arts (Cum Laude) in Secondary Education and Economics from the University of Arizona, her Master of Library and Information Sciences from Texas Woman’s University, and her Administrator’s certificate from Portland State University. 

She began her position earlier this month.


Multnomah ESD welcomes Kulak as Nurse Supervisor and Davis as Vice Principal
September 2, 2016
Angela Kulak has been selected as a Nurse Supervisor in the School Health Services Department. She will be supervising nurses and school health assistants in the Franklin cluster (PPS) as well as Pioneer, Student Success Center, Benson High School, Gresham/Barlow School District and Outdoor School. 

Ms. Kulak brings over 29 years of nursing experience to the position, including four years as a MESD school nurse most recently at Rosa Parks Elementary School and Woodlawn School in Portland Public Schools district.  Ms. Kulak began her work as a school nurse in 2005 and worked for the Forest Grove and Woodburn school districts.  Prior to serving as a school nurse she worked for 18 years as a certified inpatient obstetrics nurse in Texas and Oregon.   Ms. Kulak earned her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Texas Christian University.

Sarah Davis is a new Vice-Principal in the Instruction Services department and will provide support to the hospital and long term care and treatment programs. Ms. Davis brings over 8 years of experience in education to the position.  She previously worked for the Park Academy in an administrative capacity including as an Assessment and Data Specialist and Lead Teacher.  At Park Academy, she provided oversight for IEP services, created school-wide assessment protocol, coordinated student profiles, education mapping plans and service learning experiences, served as a liaison for local public school districts, prepared and organized AdvanceEd accreditation documents, diagnostics, assurances, surveys and reports, and provided professional development for staff. Prior to her role at Park Academy she taught as a prekindergarten teacher at Nike and a first/second-grade teacher at South Shore elementary school in Albany, Oregon.

Ms. Davis earned her Bachelor of Arts, cum laude at Linfield College in Early Childhood and Elementary Education with a minor in Spanish.  She earned her Master of Science in Educational Leadership and administrative certificate from Western Governors University in Salt Lake City, Utah.

Multnomah ESD Business Services receives 2nd award for excellence in financial reporting
September 2, 2016
The Association of School Business Officials (ASBO) International has awarded Multnomah Education Service District its Certificate of Excellence in Financial Reporting award for having met or exceeded the program’s high standards for financial reporting and accountability. This is the second award the district’s Business Services department, led by Director Doana Anderson, has received for excellence in financial reporting.  In August, the district received the Award of Achievement from the Governmental Finance Officers Association.
The district was recognized for its Comprehensive Annual Financial Report for the fiscal year ending 2015.

The Certificate of Excellence (COE) award confirms the school business office’s commitment to financial accountability and transparency. Recognition through the COE program can help strengthen a district’s presentation for bond issuance statements and promotes a high level of financial reporting. For more information about the COE award, visit


Thanks, Eileen! And thanks, MESD staff.
August 26, 2016
Just days before her retirement, Eileen Ellis (School Health Services) heard about the KGW School Supply Drive and suggested that MESD participate.  Schoolhouse Supplies Thanks to her suggestion, MESD employees brought donations to the Ainsworth building and also to the back-to-school Wellness  Summit. The collection was delivered to Schoolhouse Supplies, and will help students throughout MESD's service area.