As of Friday, May 11, 2018
Brandi Sheppard is the newest member of the Hood River County School District Board of Directors.
She was sworn into office Wednesday night by Superintendent Dan Goldman after a short interview at the school board meeting, held at Hood River Valley High school library, for the newly-vacant Position 6.
“I’m really looking forward to working together with the group. I know I have plenty to learn,” said Sheppard, who formally took her seat following the swearing-in. She will fill out the term vacated by Mark Johnson, who resigned last month. Position 6 will be on he ballot in May 2019 for a new term to begin July 1, 2019.
Schools and volunteering are nothing new to Sheppard, who works as director of volunteers at Providence Hood River Memorial Hospital, and has two elementary school children and one in middle school. She also serves as a board member with Hood River Education Foundation.
“I feel that education is very important. I believe all kids deserve the opportunity to succeed in school,” Sheppard told the board. “I want to make a difference in the overall quality of education that the school is providing.”
The vote to appoint Sheppard was unanimous. Board member Benjamin Sheppard (no relation) moved she be appointed, with Julia Garcia Ramirez seconding it. Chrissy Reitz, Rich Truax, and Corinda Hankins-Elliott voted for the appointment. Tom Scully was absent.
Prior to the appointment, the board unanimously voted to appoint Reitz, the former vice chair, as board chairman, and Truax to serve as vice chair.
In the interview, Ramirez asked Sheppard her thoughts on bridging the achievement gap between Hispanic and Anglo students.
“I think it’s working together with the community, getting people involved, and people from throughout the district,” Sheppard said. “There are different cultures in our district, and it’s getting involved with the upper valley and lower valley and getting broader perspectives to figure out how to work together to make sure there’s equity for everybody.”
Sheppard has a Bachelor of Science degree in human development and family study from Oregon State University. Prior to coming to Hood River in 2007, she worked for seven years as a buyer for Fred Meyer, handling an annual budget $30 million, experience she pointed to when asked about the budget oversight responsibility that comes with serving on school board.
In her Providence roles, she supervises more than 100 volunteers, manages the hospital gift shop, oversees Providence Foundation fundraising events, and manages the Caregiver Campaign at Providence Hood River.