Rogers was appointed to the board earlier this year; Jain is an 18-year resident of the ESD
VANCOUVER — Among the decisions voters will make in Tuesday’s decision is who to place in the Evergreen School District Board of Directors Position 4 seat. Political newcomer Divya Jain is facing off with Rachael Rogers.
Clark County Today offers this review of the two candidates through statements made on the Voters’ Pamphlet, responses to specific questions posed to the candidates as well as their participation in a recent candidate forum held by the League of Women Voters of Clark County.
Here’s a look at the two candidates (in alphabetical order):
This is the first time Jain has ran for public office. Her professional experience includes work as a contract business analyst and project manager at the Bonneville Power Administration as well as 20-plus years of experience in project management and business analysis. Jain has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Project Management. Her community service includes serving as president for the Vancouver-India Group, classroom volunteer and other school activities (2005-2012) including the creation and implementation of the Geography Passport Club that benefited thousands of students in the Evergreen School District over several years; Science and Art Fair chair at Illahee Elementary School (2009-2012); Project Management Institute (2012-2018) board member; and serving various leadership programs honing leadership skills. Jain Society president (2016-2017).
In her Voters’ Pamphlet statement, Jain stated: “I have lived in the Evergreen School District for over 18 years. I feel fortunate to have my two daughters complete their schooling in ESD, learning from excellent educators. Now, I want to give back to our community by supporting Evergreen students and families in the district.’’
“My priorities include improving the quality of the education so we can alleviate the challenges the district faces right now,’’ Jain added. “This will improve the schools’ ratings and subsequently improve the property values for our residents. I will work to provide more learning opportunities for students of all abilities and needs. I will seek programs that address teen suicide, substance abuse, and mental health.
“I worked as a contract project manager at the Bonneville Power Administration for many years,’’ Jain said. “I worked addressing concerns and resolving issues with stakeholders. With my leadership experience, I will work across the board to make this one of the best districts in the nation. I have provided new learning experiences in schools. I founded the Geography Passport Club, an interactive program of geography and cultures study in one school and spread it to many schools in the district.’’
When contacted by Clark County Today, Jain said the key issue in her race is “to have more intervention programs for substance abuse, behavior, and mental health. I have already started working with Vancouver Police and some organizations on preventive programs. I will also make stronger partnerships with such organizations so our kids and families can get benefits of such programs to help our kids in this direction so they can thrive and become successful.’’
Jain also said that, “as our evergreen school district is very diverse, I want to promote equity to create inclusive classrooms.’’
Rogers was appointed to Evergreen School Board in February 2019. She currently works as a senior deputy prosecuting attorney for Clark County and has worked as a prosecutor for Clark County and the city of Vancouver for approximately 13 years. She holds a B.A. Degree in International Affairs and French from Northeastern University (2003) and Juris Doctorate from Willamette University (2006). Her community service includes serving as a coach of the Hockinson High School mock trial team.
In her Voters’ Pamphlet statement, Rogers stated, “I strongly believe that a good education makes all the difference in creating strong, productive members of society who will make our community a better place. A good public education is a necessity in our society, and I am committed to ensuring that all children in our school district receive a true opportunity to receive a quality education.
“I am committed to supporting the teachers, parents, and administrators in the Evergreen School District as they support, encourage, and love the students in our schools,’’ Rogers said. “I want to emphasize strong communication and transparency between the school board and our community, and to build a strong relationship between the board and the teachers and educators in our community. We should work as a team to provide the best education and experiences that we can for all our students.
“As a parent to two young children, I have seen first-hand the positive impact a collaborative team can have on a student’s success,’’ Rogers added. “I want to continue the work I’ve just begun as school director and will work hard to put students first in all decisions, and will dedicate myself to making decisions that will best benefit our students and our schools.’’
When contacted by Clark County Today, Rogers said, “I am campaigning on the idea that increased communication and improved relationships is necessary for our school district to thrive. I want to better communication between the board and the public, and increase transparency.’’
League of Women Voters Candidate Forum
One of the questions asked of the candidates at the recent candidate forum was: Some students can’t afford to or don’t wish to go to college after high school, what emphasis is there on those students in the district and what programs are available to them?
Jain: “Our schools haven’t had the best record of supporting technical training over the last few decades. As we began to return to supporting these education opportunities for students as they begin to choose their career path, we need to ensure that we are providing career and technical courses at the same rates as courses and opportunities that prepare our students for college and for jobs. We need to be partnering with the local union supporting students interested in attending the skill centers of our county. We have Cascadia (Technical) Academy in our district that I have toured. We also have HeLa High School that provides some medical
training. I would like to expand these programs that are offered in other high schools at the minimal cost.’’
Rogers: “We care about all students whether they’re college bound or not. We honor military recruits at graduation time, we have had more of a focus recently on students choosing trade schools. Our CTE offers more and more internships with local businesses for our students and I’m in support of that program continuing. In addition, the recent passage late this spring of graduation reforms has made it possible, more possible, and in some ways easier for some students to graduate with a diploma that’s now more meaningful, not just to show college preparedness, but to show job preparedness and trade school preparedness.’’