The Portland School Board appointed Portland resident Andrew Huhn to complete the five month unexpired term of former school board member Jami Schneider. Huhn was one of six applicants and will run for a six-year-term, that begins in January 2021, in the General Election in November. Earlier today Huhn responded to a series of questions from The Portland Beacon regarding his appointment.
1) Why did you apply for the Portland School Board?
Since I separated from the military, I've been trying to be active and give back to my community; joining the School Board was a profound and impactful way to do that here in Portland. I started getting involved in the community while we still lived in Saint Johns. I began by coaching my son's baseball teams and getting involved in the Education Trust Fund at our church. Since moving back to Portland, I've become quite active at VFW Post 4090, serving as the Senior Vice Commander and website/social media coordinator, as well as recently joining the Planning Commission for Portland Township.
2) Do you have children in the school system? If so, what grade(s)?
Yes, I have 2 children attending school in the district. My oldest son is a sophomore and my youngest son is in 8th grade.
3) What do you think are the most important issues facing Portland Schools?
The most important issue is the safety of students, faculty, and staff resuming school in the fall. Parents in the district have overwhelmingly voiced their opinion to begin the school year in person. That will obviously require a tremendous amount of coordination and planning. While I haven't been involved in any conversations on how the school year should begin, I am confident Superintendent Heath will put forward a well thought out plan for the Board to review.
4) What specific skills do you bring to the Board?
Integrity and facilitation. The military enforced a structured and methodical approach to problem solving and working as an IT Project Manager has taught me to facilitate conversations. I'm not afraid of making difficult decisions, but those decisions only come after collaboration.
5) What is your Educational background?
I received a Master of Science in Administration degree from Central Michigan University. I received my Bachelor of Science in Business Administration degree from CMU as well.
6) Anything else you’d like to share?
I'd like to add that it's an honor to have been selected to the School Board to complete the remainder of this term. I look forward to beginning my work with the Board and I hope to fill this role well enough to earn everyone's vote in the November elections.