Following an executive session, the Salem-Keizer Public Schools governing board will meet at 6 p.m. Tuesday for its upcoming business session.
The board continues to meet in person but is only allowing members of the public to participate virtually.
Community members can give testimony by phone, Zoom or written submission. A lottery system will be used to select speakers, according to the board agenda, and 45 minutes will be allotted for public comment.
The focus of the night will be filling the Zone 6 seat after the recent resignation of Danielle Bethell.
Bethell was elected in 2019 to represent Keizer’s zone on the seven-member school board. In 2020, she successfully ran as a Republican to also serve as a Marion County commissioner.
On Oct. 10, Bethell notified board leadership, Superintendent Christy Perry and the board’s attorney, Paul Dakopolos, via email that she was resigning, effective immediately. She did not offer any additional information or explanation.
In accordance with Oregon law explained in board documents, a new Salem-Keizer board member will be appointed to the position through June 30, which would have been the end of Bethell’s elected term. The regular election in May will determine who will serve the seat’s next four-year term.
The board plans to interview the applicants and appoint their selection during the Tuesday meeting.
The board is also expected to vote Tuesday on its superintendent hiring process and will discuss a proposed property purchase for an expansion of the district’s career-tech aviation program.
The board held initial interviews with the candidates Thursday via Zoom during a special mid-day meeting. If needed, the board may hold an additional special session Nov. 15 to finalize the decision. The appointee will then be sworn in.
To be eligible, applicants must be residents of Salem-Keizer Zone 6 and have resided in the zone for at least one year, be registered voters of the district, and not be district employees.
Ten people applied for the position.
During the Thursday interviews, candidates listed helping with the search for a new superintendent following Perry’s retirement and addressing the social and academic impacts of COVID-19 as some of their top priorities.
Meet the Zone 6 candidates
Here is some information on each candidate. Bios are organized in the order presented in board documents.
Clifford “Bob” Bemrose works for Legacy Health. According to his résumé, he earned a bachelor’s degree in communications from Southern Oregon University in 1999 and a master’s degree in applied information management from the University of Oregon in 2014.
Julianne Jackson works for Partnership for Safety & Justice. She is known in the community for her leadership with Black Joy Oregon. In her Thursday interview, she told the board she is a former Salem-Keizer student who experienced homelessness and was impacted by the justice system. She is now a parent in the district.
Mark Lidtke is a retired middle school teacher. He worked in Woodburn School District for 30 years, according to his résumé. He grew up in and graduated from Salem-Keizer schools, as did his three adult children, according to his application. Five of his grandchildren now attend district schools, two of whom, he said, live with Lidtke and his wife.
Sue Myers is retired, following a career in various school positions starting in 1977. According to her resume, Myers has worked as a classroom teacher, substitute, instructional assistant, librarian, adjunct collegiate instructor and more. She is also a Salem-Keizer graduate.
Rebeca Ramirez works as a self-employed real estate agent and has school-age children. According to her application, if appointed, she’d especially like to focus on strengthening special education and dual-language programs.
Thais Brandao Rodick works for the Oregon Lottery. She has two students currently attending the district’s Valley Inquiry Charter School in Salem. She said in a video recording that she wants to elevate charter families’ voices and ensure they are included.
Anthony Rosilez is the executive director of the Oregon Teacher Standards and Practices Commission. He has worked in almost every school position over the course of his career, according to his application, from substitute to superintendent to statewide oversight. According to his résumé, Rosilez was named the National Latino Teacher and Administrator Advocate of the Year in 2021.
Stephenie Russell is the self-employed owner of Pacific Packing Solutions. With running her business and raising her children, Russel in her Thursday interview said she uses both short- and long-term measurable goals to make things happen. She has a strong financial background, she said, because of her experience in business.
Robert Salazar is retired after 45 years in education. He served as principal for both Washington and Meyers elementary schools in Salem-Keizer, according to his résumé. He said he’s also worked as a teacher, counselor and vice principal, as well as with the district’s migrant education programs.
Ross Ziesemer works for Optum Services, Inc. in Salem. He is a parent in the district and said he wants to work on the school board having a more united front. According to his résumé, Ziesemer served as a campus monitor at North Salem High School in the early 2000s and after, worked for about five years for Oregon’s Child Protective Services.
View the candidates’ full application materials here.