Dawn Rasmussen was appointed to the vacant Zone 2 board position on the D21 school board Thursday night. She has also filed as a candidate for the post and will be on the May 21 ballot.
Rasmussen owns a resume writing and career development firm and was an adjunct professor at Concordia University and Mt. Hood Community College after working in the hospitality industry for over 15 years.
She replaces Dean McAllister, who resigned last fall.
Rasmussen told the board that while she didn’t have any children herself, she said, “quite frankly I think it’s everybody’s responsibility in society to support schools…It’s incumbent on all of us to create productive citizens.”
She said a school board couldn’t be “a passive rubber stamper,” but had to be involved in the district. She saw roles for the board in curriculum, staff learning environments, bargaining, and helping getting parents involved.
She saw the school board as being the ambassador to the community and serving as a go-between between the community and district administration and staff.
She said the board could be accessible to the community by going to community events, town halls, focus groups, one on one sessions — anywhere the board could get feedback.
She valued being open, respectful and inclusive, and recognizing that everybody has different perspectives. She also said compromise is important, and “nobody is going to get 100 percent of what they want.”
She encouraged active community involvement by board members, including striking up conversations in the grocery store line about schools.
Asked how she would address inequalities that are found, she said she envisioned seeking out what inequalities existed and creating a sensitive and open-minded approach to a solution, and helping parents navigate the system.
Asked what special skills she brought to the table, she said she does public speaking and had taught at the college level. She also said she was willing to ask for help if needed.
Earlier she said, “I’m a worker,” and she envisioned being active in her role as board member.