Washougal School Board president bows out

Cory Chase will not run for re-election in 2023

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Washougal School Board President Cory Chase speaks April 22, 2022, during an opening ceremony for the George Schmid Ballfields. (Doug Flanagan/Post-Record)

Washougal School Board President Cory Chase will not seek re-election this year.

Chase, the board’s president since 2017, announced his decision on Wednesday, May 10.

“My oldest child graduated from Washougal High School last year, and my youngest will graduate from Washougal High School next year,” Chase said. “I am looking forward to spending much more time with them when my term is up. I am also looking forward to engaging in new and challenging career opportunities that I have set aside in order to serve on the board. … When I joined the board, I had a plan to serve two terms. Serving on the school board is a tremendous but worthy time commitment. It’s just the right time to step away.”

Chase said that he believes “it is important for parents to serve on the school board.”

“I wanted to make this announcement ahead of the filing period to encourage those in the community who would like to serve to file for my board position,” he said.

Chase, the assistant police chief for the Port of Portland, was appointed to the board’s No. 4 position in 2016, replacing Karen Rubino.

“I am proud of my time and accomplishments on the board,” Chase said. “I have been honored to be a part of tremendous growth and change in our community. We have built new buildings to better serve our students and families, implemented programs that have helped serve all students in our district, created a culture in the district that has allowed us to recruit, hire, and retain the most talented employees, and most importantly, embraced a culture of collaboration with our students, families, and community members.”

The school board’s vice president, Angela Hancock, said Chase is “level-headed, calm and fair,” qualities that served him well during his time on the board.

“We have encountered some very difficult times together, and I’m very thankful to have been able to work under his leadership during those times,” Hancock said. “Cory listens to everyone with an open mind, and he is a strong and ethical leader who follows policies and laws. During Cory’s tenure, he has brought forth processes that we are using today. I really appreciate his common sense, strategic planning, guidance and style of communication.”

Hancock to seek re-election

Hancock announced last month that she will seek re-election to her position this fall.

“I have chosen to run for re-election because I feel like we are now able to pick up where we left off (when the COVID-19 pandemic began),” she said. “I want to see the amazing things that were started in our district. I want to see the positive effect (of the recently passed levies), along with work that still needs to be done. It’s a long road, but this district has some of the hardest working, dedicated, optimistic and most caring people that I know. We will get there.”

Hancock joined the board in 2018, replacing Elaine Pfeifer in position No. 2, and assumed the vice-president role in 2020.

She previously worked at Gause Elementary, Cape Horn-Skye Elementary and Canyon Creek Middle School, and served in a variety of volunteer roles, including serving on the ‘Vote Yes for Safe Schools’ bond committee, as Canyon Creek Booster Club secretary, Cape Horn-Skye Booster Club vice president, Washougal Schools Foundation Stride Run volunteer coordinator, Girl Scouts of America assistant troop leader, Camas Community Education soccer coach, and as a West Columbia Gorge Humane Society volunteer.

“I feel that being a trusted person that others can turn to is something I’ve been proud of,” she said. “Over the years I’ve been able to help others understand how things work or point them in the right direction when I don’t know. … I know that many people do not have the time, energy or ability to find answers to their questions, and I like to be someone that can help them.”