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.