Board of Education
Email the Board:
Board members are elected by voters city-wide and represent the entire school district; however, they must reside in one of seven zones.
Mail may be sent to Board Members at the following address: 501 N. Dixon Street, Portland, Oregon, 97227
Julie Esparza Brown, EdD (Co-vice chair)
Julie Esparza Brown is an Associate Professor in the Department of Special Education at Portland State University with a specialization in working with culturally and linguistically diverse exceptional learners. After a public school career of almost two decades where she was a bilingual and special educator and later a school psychologist, she joined the Graduate School of Education faculty to direct a general education teacher preparation program aimed at diversifying the teacher workforce in Oregon and successfully secured grant funding for twelve years.
Upon moving to the Department of Special Education, where she teaches courses in assessment, special education law and working with diverse exceptional learners, she has also successfully written several grants to prepare culturally and linguistically diverse special educators. Her most recent grant, funded through the federal Office of Special Education Programs, is a Model Demonstration Project to research literacy interventions within a multi-tiered system of supports for English Learners with or at risk for disabilities in grades 3 – 5.
She has served on the National Advisory Board for the National Center of Response to Intervention and is a member of the editorial board for two journals. To broaden the impact of her work focused on creating equitable educational systems for all children, she is currently serving on the school board for the largest public school system in Oregon.
Dr. Brown is a co-author of two national briefs, A Cultural, Linguistic, and Ecological Framework for Response to Intervention with English Language Learner and RTI for English Language Learners: Appropriately Using Screening and Progress Monitoring Tools to Improve Instructional Outcomes. Other publications include articles and chapters related to the screening, instruction, and assessment of culturally and linguistically diverse students, preparing a diverse teacher workforce, and a culturally and linguistically aligned framework for literacy interventions. Her national presentations have taken her to many states and districts as they work to provide rigorous, appropriate and data-driven systems aimed at improving the academic and behavioral outcomes for all students.
In her free time she enjoys spending time with her three children and their families, her grandson and granddaughter due early next year. She also spends her limited free time playing the piano, going to concerts, plays, cooking and enjoying Oregon’s beautiful trails and parks.
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, as finance chair of the successful 2012 PPS bond campaign and this year led the campaign, with former Director Koehler, for the 2017 PPS bond, the largest school bond in Oregon history.
Amy currently serves on the boards of Mercy Corps NW, and Literary Arts and its Writers in the Schools committee. She also served for six years on the board, and as chair, of Open Meadow, helping initiate its innovative new Open School in East Portland for kids identified as highest risk for dropping out, 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 junior at UCLA and two Lincoln high school students. Amy's hobbies include trail running, skiing, cooking and watching youth sports.
Amy holds a bachelor's degree from Macalester College.
Scott Bailey grew up in Northeast Portland, in the same neighborhood where he now lives. He graduated from Grant High School, and went on to Oregon State University, where he earned a bachelor's degree in Liberal Studies, with honors. He received a master’s degree in economics from Portland State University and has worked as a regional economist for the state of Washington for nearly 30 years. He also teaches economics at Clark College.
Before joining the PPS Board, Scott was a community activist, co-founding Community & Parents for Public Schools (CPPS) and Our Portland, Our Schools (OPOS), working for the passage of the 2012 PPS construction bond, and other education campaigns. In addition, he has made presentations, phone-banked, led research initiatives and organized community-based interventions to push for positive change, particularly for underserved communities. His wife Nancy was an artist in residence at a number of PPS schools before earning her teaching degree. She has been a PPS teacher for more than 13 years. Both of Scott and Nancy’s children are PPS graduates.
Student Representative Moses Tran
Moses Tran has attended Portland Public Schools since kindergarten. He is now a senior attending Benson Polytechnic High School and intends to graduate with an endorsement in Health Occupations.
Before taking his position on the school board, Tran was elected to the Executive Associated Student Body Council at Benson, where he advocated for building stronger relations between the student body, staff and school administration. He has long had a deeply-rooted passion for volunteer work and has served as president of Benson’s Key Club, leading his chapter to redirect its work toward underserved communities in Northeast Portland, contributing more than 1,000 hours of service to the Northeast Portland community last school year.
Tran also serves as chapter president of Future Health Professionals and fundraising chair of the Benson Black Student Union, and he interns with the Oregon Health & Science University administrative team. Tran will be the first in his family to attend college. He hopes to attain a doctoral degree and become either an educational executive or hospital administrator.