Multnomah Education Service District

Director, Position 2, At-Large

Helen Ying

Occupation: MESD Board Member, Current; Retired

Occupational Background: Public School Teacher; Counselor; Vice Principal; Hearings Officer

Educational Background: Lewis & Clark College, Continuing Superintendent License; Portland State University, Masters Degree in Science

Prior Governmental Experience: Oregon Department of Education, Ethnic Studies Advisory Group Member; Office of Equity, City of Portland, Committee Member

“As a fellow public educator, I know that Helen has the experience, knowledge, and passion to be a driver for change at MESD. I wholeheartedly endorse her.”
-Karen Gray, Former Parkrose School District Superintendent

“In this race, the choice couldn’t be clearer—Helen will work tirelessly to advocate for MESD in Salem and Multnomah County.”
-Senator Michael Dembrow

“Helen brings people together, and seamlessly facilitates tough conversations. She is exactly the kind of leader we need as we emerge from the Covid pandemic and tackle some of the biggest issues facing our community, including profound health disparities, institutional racism and growing economic inequality.”
-Sharon Meieran, Multnomah County Commissioner

For over 30 years, I have served Oregon’s public school students. I am elated to share that we have made great strides to make sure we are responsive to our students and are getting results for our work:

  • Developing, Implementing Culturally Inclusive Programming
  • Holding Ourselves Accountable to Success Metrics
  • Greater Visibility of Our Work so Families Know How We Support Student Success

MESD must continue to ensure that the underrepresented and marginalized populations, including low-income families, receive the support needed to thrive, especially as we help repair the damage caused by the pandemic and systemic racism. It is my passion to see that this work is done and that every student thrives.

We Ask You to Re-Elect Helen Ying!
MESD Education Association
Oregon Education Association Stand for Children
Ted Wheeler, Portland Mayor
Jessica Vega Pederson, Multnomah County Commissioner
Lori Stegmann, Multnomah County Commissioner
MESD Board Members: Kristin Cornuelle; Jessica Arzate; Denyse Peterson; Mary Botkin; Katrina Doughty; and Susie Jones |

(This information furnished by Helen Ying)

Director, Position 2, At-Large

Leo Morley

Occupation: Retired/Landlord

Occupational Background: 2013 - Retired GS4 Security Guard, Portland Amtrak Train Station; 2001-2009 - Laidlaw Transit Service. Lift service transit driver. Received safety driving award; 2004-2005 - Department of Veterans Affairs Portland Medical Center. Health Care aid staff in Escort Division; 1993-2004 - Please see community activities section, below; 1971-1993 - United States Navy - Honorably Discharged. Aviation Technician, E-6 (Petty Officer)

Educational Background: George Fox University (2000- 2005) completion degree program for a Bachelor of Science  in Project Management; Portland State University (1997-1999) Toward completion of a Bachelor of Business Administration degree

Prior Governmental Experience: None

Community Activities

2005-2019 Toastmasters International, member|
1998-2004 Health care aid volunteer for the Department of Veterans Affairs Portland Medical Center.
2002-2005 Elder of Fellowship, Mt. Scott Park Presbyterian Church.
1998-2000 Chair, Mt. Scott-Arleta Neighborhood Association, Southeast Portland.
1997-1999 Portland Neighborhood Block Captain

I have applied project management principles to business solutions for more than 30 years in real estate investment and as a rental property owner. I was a Block Captain that motivated neighbors to protect their personal and property rights. Elected chair of the Mt. Scott-Arleta Neighborhood Association I adapted my leadership style to changing situations. As chair I worked with the Southeast Up-Lift office, Office of Neighborhood Involvement (ONI), Portland Police department, and the City of Portland commissioners to develop project proposals and for sponsorship. I directed and coordinated Neighborhood’s community festival, school fundraiser and carnival events that involved hundreds of attendees.

I am a former service member who knows how important it is for young men and women be able to perform in life with useful educational skills. Make sure every student is on a path to graduate and educationally equipped to lead. I’ll use my experiences, my passion, and opportunity to help improve the lives of our children.

I support school vouchers and charter schools.

School need to be now.

(This information furnished by Leo Morley)

Director, Position 3, Zone 2

Mary Botkin

Occupation: Small Business Owner, Legislative Advocate

Occupational Background: Legislative/ Political Director AFSCME; Staff to Sen. Monroe & Sen. Bradbury; Business Accounting Professional

Educational Background: Glencoe, Vernon and Jefferson Schools — Portland; Pacific NW Labor College — Marylhurst University; Labor History, SUNY — Binghamton, NY

Prior Governmental Experience: Legislative/Political Director AFSCME; Staff Sen. Monroe & Sen. Bradbury Transition Team — Governors Goldschmidt & Kitzhaber; Civil Rights Commission — BOLI; Oregon Democratic National Committee Woman 1984-03, Chair, DNC Women’s Caucus; Democratic Committee Person 1977-current.

State Rep. Rob Nosse
Kristin Cornuelle, Chair, MESD Board
Joni Muller, AFSCME Local 1995
Margaret Doherty, former State Rep. (Retired Teacher)
Kevin Fitts, Mental Health Advocate
Sally Kissell, AFSCME Local 1995
Helen Ying, Director MESD
Susie Jones, Director MESD
Denyse Peterson, Director MESD MESD Education Association

As a third generation Oregonian, my family and I are all graduates of Oregon’s public education system.

I believe that education is the great equalizer. I serve at MESD to assure that every student has a safe, accessible, free education regardless of their individual circumstances. Their race, identity, physical limitations, economics, ethnic or religious beliefs should not limit their access to a full  and complete educational experience.

My goals at MESD are to continue in my current position and conclude the work we have begun. These include passing and using the first Equity Lens in Oregon, and working with students and staff to create curriculum on our Hard History program that will illustrate and tell the real history of Oregon.

My legislative background includes being a key leader on many important issues, including establishing the Martin Luther King, Jr. Holiday in Oregon and pushing our state’s original Pay Equity legislation. I organized and promoted our district’s first-ever “MESD Day” at the capitol to ensure our voice is heard in Salem. I intend to continue to my work with fellow board members, staff, students and families at MESD to assure a safe working and learning environment that builds a future filled with limitless opportunities.

(This information furnished by Mary Botkin)

Director, Position 3, Zone 2

Walt Karnstein

Occupation: Intellectual Property Attorney; Father of three past/present students in Portland public schools.

Occupational Background: Owner, Karnstein IP Law; Patent Development Director, HP Inc.; Partner, Kolisch Hartwell PC.

Educational Background: Northwestern University, B.S. Electrical Engineering; Willamette University, J.D.

Prior Governmental Experience: None

Community Involvement: American Bar Association - Law Practice Division (Chair, Budget Officer), Standing Committee on Continuing Legal Education, Standing Committee on Publishing Oversight; ALI-ABA Committee on Continuing Legal Education; Oregon State Bar - Intellectual Property Law Section Board of Directors, Oregon New Lawyers Division Chair; Multnomah Bar Association - YLS Board of Directors; Forest Park Neighborhood Association Board of Directors; Highlands Homeowners Association President; Friends of Timberline Lodge Board of Directors; FEMA Oregon/ Washington Volunteer Legal Services Coordinator; T-ball Coach; Basketball Coach

An effective education is one of the most important things that we can give to our kids. In order to provide all kids with the opportunity for that education, we have to ensure that schools have the resources necessary to bring kids safely back into the classrooms.

As the father of three past/present PPS students, I’ve been fortunate enough to see the positive impact of dedicated teachers working with parents to prepare our kids for the world. I’ve also seen the void left when our school community is suddenly gone. We have to be sure that schools are prepared for any future challenges, and that we have tools in place to meaningfully support all kids as they face those potential challenges.

Now is the time to reflect on the past year, to address learning deficits that may have resulted, and to make plans that will help our schools come back stronger than before. My experience gives me a unique perspective that will help MESD to improve educational outcomes for all students.


David Ripma – Troutdale City Council President
Kelly Stickel – Former Centennial School Board Vice Chair
Patrick O’Harrow – Beaverton School District Project Coordinator
Margaret Lynch – Special Education Teacher
Tamara Palmer – Former High School Teacher

(This information furnished by Walt Karnstein)

Director, Position 4, Zone 4

Gabriel Braet

Occupation: Small business owner

Occupational Background: Educational non-profit professional; math and science tutor; biochemistry tutor

Educational Background: Southern Oregon University, biochemistry, BA; David Douglas high school, diploma

Prior Governmental Experience: Director of Finance and Administration, ASSOU

The quality of our public education will determine the conditions of our future - if we can get Multnomah County’s public education right, everything else will follow.

Born and raised in the David Douglas school district, I hold fond memories from my early involvement with the MESD which helped me build my leadership and professional skills. Yet my work on a national level has helped me recognize that in order to support all students in achieving their dreams, we must provide a wide variety of opportunities for them to grow.

As we transition back to in-person learning, we have a unique chance to reshape Multnomah County public education in a way that better facilitates the process of our young learners becoming tomorrow’s leaders.

As your MESD Board representative, I will commit myself to the following:

  • Developing specialized programming and partnerships that appeal to a wide variety of career paths
  • Ensuring that all students have an equal opportunity to succeed in our public educational institutions
  • Improving outreach with parents, teachers, and community members to guarantee that the MESD is investing your tax dollars effectively
  • Protecting parents’ rights in education

“Gabriel has demonstrated his ability to think critically and solve problems in a variety of high-stakes situations. Please join me in supporting Gabriel Braet for MESD Zone 4.”
-James Hieb, Canby City Planning Commission and Director of Building Blocks Early Learning Center

Proudly Endorsed by:
James Hieb, Canby City Planning Commission and Director of Building Blocks Early Learning Center
Vic Liang, former secretary, IBEW Electrical Workers Minority Caucus (EWMC)
Richard Burke, Fmr. chair, Oregon Govt. Ethics Commission
Dmitriy Sashchenko, executive director, Slavic Vote

For more information, please visit

(This information furnished by Gabriel Braet)

Director, Position 4, Zone 4

Jessica Arzate

Occupation: Chief Impact Officer at Greater Than (education nonprofit in Reynolds and Hillsboro School Districts)

Occupational Background: Early Learning Multnomah Hub Manager at United Way; alternative education teacher and teaching assistant; ESL instructor

Educational Background: CSU Long Beach, M.Ed in Dual Language Development; UC Irvine, BA in Anthropology

Prior Governmental Experience: MESD Vice-Chair (Present); OSBA Legislative Policy Committee; Student Success Act Rules Advisory Committee; Ethnic Studies Advisory Committee; School Board Members of Color Caucus Co-President (2017-2018); OAESD Governance Committee; National School Board Association Delegate Assembly Member

Jessica has over a decade experience as an educator  and has been leading and coordinating efforts to improve outcomes for the children who face the most barriers.

Education is my life, both personally and professionally. I serve on the MESD because I am a product of alternative education. The MESD exists to meet the needs of our most vulnerable student populations. This includes students in alternative education, who are seeking multiple pathways to graduation.

The inequitable impacts of the pandemic are undeniably evident, but still not fully clear.

As a board member, I will advocate for legislative policies that:

  1. Improve inclusive and comprehensive education.
  2. Increase and maintain the diversity of the educator workforce.
  3. Support trauma-informed practices and mental health support for students.
  4. Support statewide equitable systems.

I am the best candidate because I have demonstrated the ability to effectively work with school districts to advance equity, culturally sustaining education, and continuous improvement efforts that advance racially just learning environments for resilient youth and historically underserved student groups.

Proudly Standing with Jessica
Ricki Ruiz, State Representative HD50
Khanh Pham, State Representative HD46
Eddy Morales, Gresham City Council
Mario Palmero, Gresham City Council
Jamie Kranz, City of Troutdale
Shirley Craddick, Metro Council
Susheela Jayapal, Multnomah County Commissioner
Sonja Mckenzie, Parkrose School Board
Andrea Valerrama, David Douglas School Board
Mayra Gomez, Gresham-Barlow School Board
Yesenia Delgado, Reynolds School Board
Katrina Doughty,
Helen Ying, MESD Board
MESD Education Association
East County Rising
Stand for Children

(This information furnished by Jessica Arzate)

Director, Position 1, Zone 5

Amanda Squiemphen-Yazzie

Occupation: Small Business Owner; Squiemphen-Yazzie Strategies, LLC

Occupational Background: Consulting services with campaigns and community organizations across Oregon, SUN Community School Intern; Pegasus Social Services

Educational Background: Portland State University, MS, Social Work (expected completion June 2022); Portland State, BS, Social Work; Portland State University, Minor, Civic Engagement; Portland Community College: Associate’s Degree, Applied Science

Prior Governmental Experience: Multnomah County, Community Involvement Committee; City of Portland, Portland Clean Energy Benefits Fund Committee; Board of Directors, Next Up Oregon; East County Rising; Oregon Indian Education Association

Katrina Doughty and Jessica Arzate, Multnomah Education Service District Directors, endorse Amanda!

I’m Amanda Squiemphen-Yazzie, a proud Warm Springs, Wasco, Navajo, Yakama woman. I invest my time in the Gresham community, the traditional homelands of the Chinook & Cowlitz people. I’m ready to utilize both my lived and professional experiences to invest in the next generation of leaders and ensure every student can achieve their full excellence.

As your MESD Director, I will:

  • Break down learning barriers for kids and make decisions with a trauma-informed lens.
  • Build transparent relationships where every voice has a say in decisions.
  • Recruit and retain diverse faculty and staff that reflect our community.
  • Uplift an equitable system that is rooted in restorative justice to keep our kids learning and in school.
  • Ensure every student has access to comprehensive and quality health services.

Proudly Endorsed By:
Stand for Children
East County Rising
NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon
Annette Mattson, MHCC-Board, Trustee
Chris Gorsek, State Senator
Ricki Ruiz, State Representative
Jeff Reardon, State Representative
Lori Stegmann, Multnomah County Commissioner
Susheela Jayapal, Multnomah County Commissioner
Scott Harden, Woodvillage Mayor
Amanda Orozco-Beach, Gresham Barlow School Board
Carla Piluso, Gresham Barlow School Board
Ana Gonzalez Munoz, Reynolds School District Board
Andrea Valderrama, David Douglas School District
Sahar Yarjani Muranovic, David Douglas School District
Gresham City Councilors: Eddy Morales, Vince Jones- Dixon, Mario Palmero
Jamie Franz, Troutdale City Councilor

Learn more:

(This information furnished by Amanda Squiemphen-Yazzie)

Director, Position 1, Zone 5

Susie Jones

Occupation: Retired

Occupational Background: Teacher, Mt. Hood Community College, 1999-2011; Teacher, David Douglas School District, 1991-1999; Teacher, North Clackamas School District, 1982-1991 Clerical, Schnitzer Steel Products, 1980; Musician, Disneyland, 1979

Educational Background: University of Portland, Music, MM; University of Portland, Music Ed BME; Mt. Hood CC General Studies

Prior Governmental Experience:1 MESD Director, 2017-present; Mt. Hood CC Director, 2013-2017

As a board member of MESD I will:

  • Support the mission of MESD and hold the district accountable to it’s mission
  • Work collaboratively with others
  • Exercise fiscal oversight to ensure that tax dollars are used efficiently and effectively
  • Demand honesty and transparency
  • Prioritize equitable education so that all students have the opportunity to reach their potential

In my 30-year career in education, I taught every grade level from 4th grade through community college. My experience as a front-line educator provides me with first-hand knowledge of how policy decisions affect the classroom and student outcomes. Additionally, my prior experience on the MHCC Board and my current experience on the MESD Board have given me further insight into budgeting and audits, collective bargaining, visioning, and accountability.

(This information furnished by Susie Jones)