• Three new members elected to the Mt. Hood Community College District Board of Education

    Mt. Hood Community College (MHCC) will welcome three new members to its District Board of Education this year.

    The full list of board members is as follows with new members in bold:

    Zone 1 – Diane McKeel (Chair)
    Zone 2 – James Zordich (Vice Chair)
    Zone 3 – Andrew Speer
    Zone 4 – Annette Mattson
    Zone 5 – Kenney Polson (Re-elected)
    At-Large Position 6 – Diane Noriega
    At-Large Position 7 – LaVerne Lewis

    Andew Speer
    Andrew Speer

    Speer will be taking the seat on the board for Zone 3 following Teena Klawa-Ainslie. He is an economist by profession and has a background in economic modeling and financial analysis. Speer currently works at Portland General Electric. He proudly served as an infantryman in the U.S. Marine Corps for four years and is an alumnus of MHCC, having graduated with his associate degree in economics before transferring to Portland State University to earn his bachelor’s and then master’s degrees in the same discipline.

    “I will celebrate the diversity of our community by supporting programs encouraging people of color and students with disadvantaged backgrounds to enroll and train at MHCC,” Speer wrote in his candidate statement.

    Diane Noriega
    Diane Noriega

    Noriega will be claiming the at-large position 6 spot on the board and previously served on it between 2011 and 2015. Most recently, Noriega was vice president of the MHCC Foundation Board. Her professional background includes experience as the interim president, provost and academic vice president and professor at California State University, Monterey Bay, and dean of the College of Education at Sacramento State University. She holds a doctorate from the University of California, Santa Barbara, a master’s degree in Spanish language and literature from the University of California, Davis and a bachelor’s degree in Spanish from the University of California, Santa Barbara.

    “Our local community college is the foundation for the education of our workforce and ultimately the economic development of our region,” Noriega wrote in her candidate statement.

    LaVerne Lewis
    LaVerne Lewis

    Lewis will be taking over the at-large position 7 seat on the board and until recently served as an adjunct professor of criminal justice and accounting for the college. In addition to her background as an educator, Lewis has experience in taxation, accounting, small business development and law enforcement. She holds a doctorate in education from Northcentral University, as well as master’s and bachelor’s degrees in accounting, adult and workforce education.

    “I believe that administration, staff and students are entitled to a safe campus. I believe all students on-ground and online are entitled to pathways of career opportunities from their academic success,” Lewis wrote in her candidate statement.

    Polson has been reelected to serve as the board’s representative for Zone 5 and was originally elected in 2015. He is currently a music teacher and his background in music education includes stops at Marylhurst University, Merced College, the International School of Beijing, Howard University and the American School of Rio de Janeiro. He has an associate of arts degree from Fresno City College a master’s degree in jazz composition from Howard University and a master’s degree in education administration from Lewis and Clark College.

    “As a board member at MHCC, I will continue to make decisions with an equity lens. I will always work to keep college affordable, academic and I will continue to strive to make the college the cultural hub of the community,” Polson wrote in his candidate statement.

    The MHCC team extends its sincere thanks to departing board members, Tamie Arnold and Teena Ainslie, for their years of service to the college and dedication to improving access to higher education as a whole.

    Click here for further information on the MHCC District Board of Directors, including meeting dates, agendas and much more.