OSEA Supported A Successful Bond Campaign for Hermiston School District

Back row, center, OSEA Lifetime Member, ROSE Chair and Hermiston School Board Member Bonnie Luisi and ROSE Zone VII Director and retired Hermiston Chapter 10 member Delores Piersol at a ‘viewing party’ on election night, with fellow campaign committee members

Months of hard work by OSEA members, the Hermiston School District and dedicated community members paid off on election night as they watched results for school bond measure 30 to 130 come in. After a close race, the measure passed, resulting in an additional $82.7 million for Hermiston schools. Our union was proud to support the bond with a $5,000 donation – the largest donation the campaign received. OSEA members were also personally involved in the campaign, including Hermiston Chapter 10 President Cathy Keeney, ROSE Zone VII Director Delores Piersol (who is also a retired member of Hermiston Chapter 10) and OSEA Lifetime Member, ROSE Chair, and Hermiston School Board Member Bonnie Luisi.

Funds from the bond are slated to decrease class sizes by adding additional schools and classrooms. The bond will enable the district to replace its oldest elementary school, Rocky Heights, with a larger building on the same site, as well as construct a new, 600-student capacity elementary school. The district will also build a multi-classroom annex to add to the capacity of Hermiston High School, purchase additional property to meet future student enrollment needs and make improvements to existing schools.

Enrollment in the Hermiston School District has increased dramatically in recent years as the population in Umatilla County has grown. Improvements to the district’s infrastructure have been desperately needed, Piersol explained. “It’s just what we need. Even though I’m retired, my grandchildren attend these schools and I know that we need to decrease class sizes and make improvements to the schools.”

Hermiston School District serves more than 5,000 students in five elementary schools, two middle schools and one high school. It is the largest school district in Eastern Oregon and among the fastest growing.