May 2019: An In-depth Look at See Eun Kim
By Dan Neill, Washington County Democrats Communication Team Chair
See Eun Kim is running for position 4 on the Hillsboro School Board.
What inspired you to run for local office?
As a former educator and child advocate for CASA, I am deeply committed to the well-being of children and the role education has in our community. When I was teaching, I experienced first-hand how policies impact the classroom, some in ways that serve the students’ best interest and others that unfortunately do not. I am running for Hillsboro School Board to ensure that our schools are given the resources and the support to provide quality education to all students. I am dedicated to bringing systemic change through education policy and advocacy work. I am running because my ground-level perspective as an educator and child advocate will bring invaluable insights to the decisions that guide our district and influence our community.
What do you feel is the most important responsibility of a school board?
The Hillsboro School Board exists to ensure that schools within our district embody the community’s values, beliefs and priorities. The school board sets the vision and goals for the district, adopts policies and works with the Superintendent and administrative staff to ensure effective implementation. The school board works with the community to improve student achievement through parental engagement, partnerships with local entities, and strategic collaborations.
If you are elected, what is the one specific project or goal you most want to accomplish as board member?
I have a few things but I can say that one of highest importance would be providing more mental and social health supports for our students. Physical, mental, and emotional well-being is essential to students and their ability to achieve at their highest potential. In our quickly evolving society, our students are facing a myriad of social issues without the necessary tools to address them. Learning becomes secondary when students are experiencing family separation, abuse and neglect, housing instability, hunger, or a threat to their safety. I will advocate for expansion of Trauma-Informed practices; provide comprehensive behavioral and mental health training for educators and administrative staff; allocate more funding to allow for more mental and social health support for students.
How do your values and those of the Democratic party align?
Creating equitable opportunities for all. In the context of education, I believe that every student, regardless of their race, academic proficiency, or socioeconomic status should be given access to quality education. As our community grows, we are becoming more diverse – culturally and socioeconomically. As a School Board member I will ensure that all students, especially those who are underrepresented, have resources to effectively learn, opportunities to succeed, and a supportive community that is culturally responsive. I will advocate for increased access to Early Learning programs; expansion of equity training for teachers and staff; and implementation of curricula and instructional programs that are culturally inclusive.