May 2019: An In-depth Look at Narce Rodriguez
By Mike Steele, Washington County Democrats Communication Committee Member
Narce Rodriguez is running for position 5 on the Forest Grove School Board.
What inspired you to run for local office?
I want to run because I want to represent the kids, to be their voice. After thirty years of service, I’ll be serving all students. My three daughters all went through the Forest Grove School District. My goal for them has been to teach my daughters coping skills and critical thinking, skills all students should have.
How do your values and those of the Democratic party align?
Having lived here for twenty-three years, and seeing some of the injustices that have happened to children and their parents, such as second language acquisition, or as a parent seeing children facing suspension, although their parents did not know their own rights because information on that was never shared with them. I have seen basic rights not made available to marginalized populations, so it’s important to use the system that is available. I hope to work with other parents to help them use the system. One word is very important: accountability. Everyone deserves the needed information. After coming to Oregon in 1976, I was very impressed with Forest Grove’s dual language program. My daughters saw people of color or bi-lingual teachers at Cornelius Elementary.
If you are elected, what is the one specific project or goal you most want to accomplish as a board member?
There is great urgency to classroom reduction, to continue working on good goals such as classroom reduction. I have also seen a number of behavioral problems, some children with emotional problems. We need more infrastructure to help teachers, including librarians in the district. We should also look at the current health center; do we have enough nurses and counselors? We need to achieve intersectionality as much as possible. There is a new strategic plan being studied. Equity applies in all of these cases. We need to bring our “equity lens” to all such work.
What do you feel is the most important responsibility of a school board?
Keep the superintendent accountable; assure that policies and procedures are being followed. See that the superintendent is following all Federal and state rules. Provide support for the superintendent to be successful and validated, as well as challenged. Assure a quality education for students and accountability for teachers and staff—in order to be the best we can be.