Letter to the editor

The Oregon Education Association is pleased to announce our endorsements of Ahnaray Bizjak, Heather Garrison and Caleb Bush for Oregon School Board.

Ahnaray Bizjak currently serves on the board of education, holding this position since 2019, representing the Village of Oregon. Parent to two OHS sophomores, Ms. Bizjak shows appreciation for all that our district and educators provide to students. She is proud of being the first district in the state to pass an Anti-Hate Speech policy and believes in continuing the important work of creating an environment in which all students feel safe and valued as individuals.

Ms. Bizjak’s goals include staff retention and recruitment, staff morale, building equitable and inclusive practices, creating healthy initiatives for students, and keeping students at the heart of all decisions.

Heather Garrison was first elected in 2020, representing the City of Fitchburg and Towns of Blooming Grove and Dunn. A parent to two young children in the district, Ms. Garrison reflected on a recent WASBE conference with school board members from around the state, stating that while Oregon has a “small town feel”, we are big enough to support a staff that can specialize in areas of specific need for students such as mental health.

Ms. Garrison has been impressed by teachers’ involvement in piloting and choosing curriculum for students stating that a school board member’s role is to follow the guidance of educators. Ms. Garrison listed increasing special education funding as a top priority and entertaining private/public partnerships as goals moving forward.

Caleb Bush is running for the Area III school board seat previously held by Tim LeBrun since 2017. Area III represents the Village of Brooklyn, Towns of Oregon, Montrose, Brooklyn, Rutland and Union. Mr. Bush has great familiarity with the education profession coming from a family of educators. He is in his thirteenth year of teaching at UW-W, Rock County. He has served on numerous committees in many roles and appreciates the collaborative role that OEA plays.

His goals are to learn, acclimate, keep an open mind, and find where he can be useful and have the greatest positive impact in making our district stronger. He lists OSD’s biggest strengths as our “high quality” staff; leadership, administration, support staff, counselors, and teachers. His “best day” for students includes feeling welcome, learning, having diverse needs met, stating that for students “not every success looks the same.”

Oregon Education Association

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