Return to Headlines

School district wins Gresham Chamber award

January 26, 2018

Gresham-Barlow School District honored with Gresham Chamber's Chief Financial Officer Mike Schofield with Gresham Ford's Bess Will at awards event Try Local First Champion Award

District honored for its commitment to spending bond dollars locally

The Greater Gresham Chamber of Commerce announced the Gresham-Barlow School District is the recipient of the Try Local First Champion Award. Gresham Ford General Manager Bess Wills presented the award to Mike Schofield, the school district’s chief financial officer, at the Chamber’s Business Excellence Awards Luncheon. Wills serves on the school district’s Bond Oversight Committee. The committee is focused on ensuring the school district spends bond dollars as voters intended.

“We asked to keep those [bond] dollars local, so that not only our schools would be transformed, but our community as well,” said Wills. “Proudly the district is honoring this commitment and we would like to thank Superintendent Dr. Katrise Perera for her leadership.”

“When we invest bond dollars in the community, we believe that a portion of it is recycled back into the local economy, which positively links neighbors in an economic web,” said Dr. Katrise Perera. “I am grateful for the recognition and acknowledgement of our commitment to our local economy by the Gresham Chamber of Commerce.  I believe when you invest in schools to enrich student safety and learning - it is good for the locality, the state, and ultimately, this great nation.”

Gresham voters approved a $291 million school bond in November of 2016. Bond funds will be used to improve student and staff safety, relieve crowded classrooms, increase access to modern technology, as well as upgrade and update aging schools and classrooms.

In the last year the district has completed several bond projects including updating school technology, purchasing classroom furniture, upgrading heating and ventilation systems, and replacing roofs. This spring the district will break ground on the bond’s four large projects: the replacement of East Gresham and North Gresham Elementary Schools and major renovation of Gresham and Sam Barlow High Schools.

“We are honored the community has given us the opportunity to make life-changing investments for our students,” said Chief Financial Officer Mike Schofield. “Our school bond project teams are committed to hiring local contractors and subcontractors and keeping bond dollars in our community.”

Wills often shares that economists say for every $100 spent at a local business, $68 stays in the community. Gresham Ford is the Chamber’s Try Local First Award sponsor. More information about supporting local merchants by shopping locally can be found on the chamber’s website.