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Portland Public School Board Members recognized during School Board Recognition Month




As citizen leaders, individual school board members face complex and demanding challenges. This position can be described as having the most important volunteer jobs in the country and facing the toughest challenge in elected American government. Yet school board members are just ordinary citizens with extraordinary dedication to our public schools. All Michigan citizens should recognize the vital contributions of these men and women and the crucial role they play in the education of our children.

 

Public education is the backbone of American society, and local school boards are deeply rooted in U.S. tradition. It is the foundation on which our democracy was built. Today local school boards continue to do the most important work of their communities—that of educating our youth.

 

Their job is to establish a vision for the education program, design a structure to achieve that vision, ensure schools are accountable to the community and strongly advocate for continuous improvement in student learning. The job of a school board member is tough, the hours can be long and the thanks, few and far between. Too often we are quick to criticize without really understanding the complex nature of the decisions being made. Now is the time to thank Board members for their untiring efforts.

 

School board members come from a variety of backgrounds, yet they share a common goal —helping students achieve in school and life. School districts have faced many challenges over the last few years, but the key to a brighter future is a strong public education system.

 

We often forget about the personal sacrifices school board members make. Board members contribute hundreds of hours each year leading their districts. They spend hours on professional development to keep abreast of the latest trends in educational leadership, are deeply involved in community activities and spend many hours at extracurricular events. They continually advocate for the children of our state.

 

The month of January marks the annual observance of School Board Recognition Month. This is a time to show our appreciation and begin to better understand how local trustees work together to prepare today’s students to be tomorrow’s leaders. In January, join with others from throughout our district and state to salute the men and women who provide grassroots governance of public schools.

 

Our Portland Public School Board Members are:

 

Beth Goodman – Mrs. Goodman has been on the board since 2014 and currently serves as Board President. She is the chair of the Personnel and Negotiations Committee which ensures successful negotiations and personnel relations and Policy and Community/Public Relations Committee. She is a graduate of Portland Public Schools and moved back to raise her family. Beth earned a bachelor’s degree from MSU and earned her MBA after all of her kids were in Portland schools. Before serving on the board Beth worked with the schools as a coach, PTO President and volunteered in many positions to benefit students in Portland. She is a believer in continuous learning and recently earned her Level 2 Award of Merit school board member training and also the CPCU insurance designation. She works as a Regional Director in the insurance industry and her business experience and dedication to children has allowed her to make good decisions based on business needs and the needs of our children, staff and district.

 

Angela Shinaver – Mrs. Shinaver joined the Board in January 2021 and currently serves as the vice president. Angela serves as the chairperson for the Program Committee and is a member of the Policy/Public Relations and Finance committees. She completed level 1 and 2 of the MASB Certified Board Member program earning the Award of Merit and the Data Skills Specialty Certification.  She is a lifelong Portland resident, graduate of Portland High School, and is involved in other local organizations, school events, and enjoys volunteering at the elementary schools. Angela and her husband, Thomas, together have 5 children; her daughter is a PHS graduate and her son is a student at PHS.  Angela is a Senior Audit Supervisor for a non-partisan audit office within the State of Michigan’s Legislative branch.  She has a Bachelor of Business Administration Degree with a major in Accounting from Grand Valley State University.

 

Brian Pohl – Mr. Pohl has been a member of the Portland School Board since 2008.  He currently is the secretary of the Board and sits on the policy/public relations, operations, and programs committees.  A teacher for 20+ years and a father of 4 PPS students gives Brian a unique outlook for the board.  A lifelong member of the Portland community he is involved with many local organizations and school events.  If not in town you can look for him hiking a trail somewhere deep in the woods.

 

Patrick Duff – Mr. Duff has been on the Board since 2011 and currently serves as the Treasurer. He is the chair of the Finance Committee, which provides financial oversight and support for the District, and serves on the Programs Committee. He is a graduate of the University of Michigan (BA); Western Michigan Michigan University (MPA); Thomas Cooley Law School (JD); and has attended numerous continuing education courses (CBAs) concerning public education. He taught high school social studies and coached baseball at Muskegon Heights High School. He taught 18 years at the Portland Adult /Community Education School. As well he coached cross country at the Portland Middle School and High School. He has practiced law since 1983 and was a member of the Portland City Council for 13 years, serving for a period of time as the Mayor Pro-Tem. He is a member of the Portland Community Orchestra and is an avid runner completing over 100 marathons (Boston 7 times) and ultra marathons (two-100 milers). He is married to his wife Lois and their two children, Eamon and Erin, are both graduates of Portland High School.

 

Andrew Huhn – Mr. Huhn graduated from Saint Patrick’s High School in Portland and then attended Central Michigan University where he earned his Bachelor and Master’s degrees. After separating from military service, he and his wife Jennifer moved back to Portland where their two children attend Portland High School. Andy is a certified IT Project Manager working in the public sector, holding numerous professional designations. Since joining the Board of Education in 2020, he has participated on the Finance Committee and the Personnel and Negotiations Committee. He remains active in the community -  serving on the Portland Township Planning Commission, the Education Trust Fund for a local church, and is also active at VFW 4090, where he is the Commander and social media/marketing coordinator.

 

Susan Moyer – Mrs. Moyer is a new board member as of January 2023 and currently serves as a trustee. She is a member of the Personnel and Negotiations Committee and the Policy and Community/Public Relations Committee. She is a lifelong resident of Portland and a graduate of Portland St. Patrick’s School. Susan earned her bachelor’s degree from MSU. She works for the State of Michigan as a project manager and design specialist for construction and building projects. She believes in transparency at all levels and that parent involvement in their child’s education is essential. She is dedicated to making sure that the children have a prosperous and safe learning environment to not only succeed, but to expand their potential.

 

Kurt Sandborn – Mr. Sandborn graduated from Portland High School and then attended Ferris State University where he earned his Associate degree in Applied Sciences. After graduation, he and his wife Sarah worked as traveling technologists in various hospitals around the country.  Their travels brought them back to the Portland community and the Portland Public School district where they settled to raise their two boys.  Kurt is a certified MRI technologist working at Michigan State University. As a new addition to the Board of Education, he looks forward to being a voice of the community. He has a passion for leadership and attends monthly and quarterly leadership seminars. Kurt and his family are also active members of Believers Christian Church. 

 

Portland Public Schools is fortunate to have such generous people serve on its Board of Education. 


Image from PPS Website.

 

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