Candidate Column: Kelly Mason for Springfield School Board

Kelly Mason – Position 5

I was born and raised in Springfield and it is because of my experiences growing up and attending public schools here that I understand the importance of a quality education and a community that looks out for one another. 

I was raised by a hard-working single mother in a low-income household, and I am committed to providing the resources necessary for all students to succeed in order to ensure that they have the same hope that I had growing up.

Being a product of Springfield Public Schools, I can personally say that my experience was excellent. I was afforded countless opportunities to learn, grow, and be involved in my community growing up and I am eager for the opportunity to bring everything full circle, and give back and contribute to Springfield schools now as an adult.

I attended Moffitt Elementary, Hamlin Middle, and Springfield High schools. I will always carry with me the memories of the amazing teachers, staff, and even Harry the janitor at Springfield High who would constantly check on me during lunch, offer advice, who I still stay in contact with to this day. My childhood education was not one without struggles and hardship, and it took a village that was dedicated to keeping me on the right path.

Currently, I am an academic advisor at the University of Oregon for the PathwayOregon program, where we serve low-income, first generation college students, offering them a scholarship that covers all of their tuition and fees – the same program that helped get me through college. I am also the Chair of the Community Development Advisory Committee of Springfield where I have had the opportunity to hear the concerns of Springfield residents and help make important decisions about current community development initiatives. Because of my personal experience in the PathwayOregon program and my current positions, I know the importance of a good public education, I understand what Springfield students are struggling with, and I am ready to help.

I have been and will continue to be a voice for marginalized students and those who are slipping through the cracks, while also guiding students who don’t know which path is the right one to take. I will continue to make career and technical programs more available and connected to future pathways beyond the classroom by engaging the community as we lead Springfield students.

To ensure that all Springfield students prosper in public schools, especially the underrepresented Latinx community, we must commit to including everyone in the education system and the decisions that affect their education. Being bilingual, with strong connections to our Latinx community, and the growing BIPOC community as a whole, I will be an ally in our district and ensure that these students are heard, honored, and respected.

When elected to the Springfield School Board, I will prioritize public schools and their funding.

I will ensure that students have pathways toward success, are treated equitably, and I have a vision of the Springfield School Board not only receiving public comments, but truly listening to them. 

I have a vision of enhanced collaboration for the Springfield School District with the community and I will work to empower students by encouraging them to contribute in district-level decision making.

I am humbled to have earned the endorsements of: local labor unions like the AFL-CIO; the Democratic Party of Lane County; current school board member Emilio Hernandez Jr. Ph.D., President of Comunidad y Herencia Cultural, Antonio Huerta, current and former elected leaders, like State Senator Lee Beyer, County Commissioner Joe Berney, State Representatives John Lively and Marty Wilde, Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle, among others, including the incumbent of the seat I am running for, Lisa Barrager. 

I hope I can count on your support this May!



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