Portland Public Schools

 
Portland, Oregon

501 North Dixon StreetPortland, OR 97227503-916-2000

Board of Education

Julie Esparza Brown, EdD

Julie Esparza Brown, EdD
Zone 1  [map]
Julie Esparza Brown, EdD
Current Term: 7/2015 - 6/2019
Julie Esparza Brown, EdD, is an Associate Professor of Special Education in the Graduate School of Education at Portland State University (PSU), Portland, Oregon. Prior to joining the faculty at PSU, Dr. Brown worked in public schools as a bilingual special educator, bilingual teacher and school psychologist in Southern California and Washington. She has authored several publications on multi-tiered/response to intervention support systems and English Learners, bilingual assessment, culturally and linguistically appropriate positive behavior systems, and special education practices for English Learners. Dr. Brown was on the advisory board of the National Center for Response to Intervention; a five-year federally funded technical assistance center.

She also presents and consults nationally, sharing her vast and unique experiences in planning and implementing equitable practices for all learners. As a board member, she looks forward to sharing her practical, professional experiences and passion for equity to improve the educational outcomes of all children in Portland Public Schools.

She has raised three thriving adults. Her son, Nathan, lives in San Diego with his wife and is in management with Hyatt Corporation. Her daughter Liana is a nurse anesthetist at the University of Washington Medical Center and her husband is a special education teacher. Danae, the youngest, manages an immigration law office as a full time graduate student in counseling at PSU. Dr. Brown enjoys spending time with family and friends enjoying the music, theater, arts, restaurants and outdoor activities the Northwest offers. Most importantly, as a third generation Chicana, she believes in engaging with the community to create better opportunities for all, particularly individuals of color and with disabilities.

Amy Kohnstamm (Vice Chair)

Amy Kohnstamm (Vice Chair)
Zone 3  [map]
Amy Kohnstamm (Vice Chair)
Current Term: 7/2015 - 6/2019
Director Amy Kohnstamm is a 5th generation Oregonian and is proud to have received her K-12 education in Portland Public Schools.

Amy has been a volunteer, activist and vocal advocate for public education. Amy served 12 years on the Ainsworth and Lincoln School Foundations, and on the board of the Portland Schools Foundation / All Hands Raised, serving as board co-chair and chair of the Equity Grants committee. Amy has advocated for increased education funding at the legislature and in support of local bonds and levies, served on the Superintendent's Bond Advisory Committee and was finance chair of the successful 2012 capital bond campaign.

Amy currently serves on the boards of Mercy Corps NW, and Literary Arts and its Writers in the Schools committee. She served for six years on the board of Open Meadow, helping initiate its innovative new school for at-risk students. Previously, she worked in community relations for Mercy Corps, for Tri-Met in it's Capital Projects Division, and as a professional journalist. She and her husband Kevin have three sons, a 2015 graduate of PPS, a PPS freshman and 7th grader. Amy's hobbies include trail running, skiing, cooking and watching youth sports.

Amy holds a bachelor's degree from Macalester College.

Steve Buel

Steve Buel
Zone 4  [map]
Steve Buel
Current Term: 7/2013 - 6/2017
Director Steve Buel was elected to the Portland Public School Board in 2013. He is a retired teacher who served previously on the Portland School Board from 1979-1983. Steve taught for over forty years in grade school, middle school and high school, including ten years at Lane Middle School in Portland during the 1990's.

Steve graduated from the University of Oregon in 1967 with a B.S. in Mathematics and a teaching norm in physical education. He received his M.A.T. in United States History from Western Oregon university in 1974. He also earned both a K-8 endorsement and a principal certificate which included graduate work at Portland State University, as well.

Steve was born in Tillamook, Oregon, and moved to Portland in 1974. He is one of the founders of Oregon Save Our Schools which is a state-wide organization which works to improve education in Oregon. His school board Facebook page can be found at Steve Buel, Portland School Board Member.

Paul Anthony

Paul Anthony
Zone 2  [map]
Paul Anthony
Current Term: 7/2015 - 6/2019

Pam Knowles

Pam Knowles
Zone 5  [map]
Pam Knowles
Current Term: 7/2013 - 6/2017
Director Knowles was elected to the Portland Public Schools Board in 2009. She earned her law degree from Northwestern School of Law at Lewis and Clark College and her B.S. from Oregon State University.

Director Knowles is currently employed by Oregon State University. Previously, she served as the Chief Operating Officer and General Counsel for the Portland Business Alliance, as the Development and Marketing Director at Portland Center Stage, and was a partner in the law firm Davis Wright Tremaine where she represented school districts. Prior to law school, Director Knowles was a high school social studies and photography teacher.

In addition to her service to PPS, Director Knowles' volunteer activities have included serving on the Board of Directors of the Portland Business Alliance Charitable Institute, Nike School Innovation Fund, Oregon State Alumni Association, Regional Arts and Culture Council, Oregon Women Lawyers, State of Oregon Commission on Childcare and Childcare Development Services. She was the President of the Buckman Arts Magnet Elementary School PTA and a founding parent of daVinci Arts Magnet Middle School..

Director Knowles resides in NE Portland with her husband, David. She has three sons, all of whom were educated in Portland Public Schools.

Tom Koehler (Chair)

Tom Koehler (Chair)
Zone 6  [map]
Tom Koehler (Chair)
Current Term: 7/2013 - 6/2017
Director Koehler was elected to the Board in 2013. As the parent of three, Tom has seen firsthand the difference a great educator can make in the lives of young learners. Portland Public Schools continually faces hard choices - impacting everything from budgets to boundaries - and each and every student needs an advocate, someone who can navigate the bureaucracy, someone willing to make critical decisions to help them all exceed, someone able and eager to serve.

Tom is a native of Portland and a fifth generation Oregonian. He graduated from Oregon State University with a degree in economics. Tom previously served as a City Councilman for the City of Cornelius, Oregon, and is the co-founder of two businesses: Celilo group Media and Pacific Ethanol. He is also a Co-chair cabinet member and volunteer for Habitat for Humanity.

Mike Rosen

Mike Rosen
Zone 7  [map]
Mike Rosen
Current Term: 7/2015 - 6/2019

Student Representative Katie Davidson

Student Representative Katie Davidson
Student Representative
Katie Davidson
Current Term: 7/2015 - 6/2016
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