Dolly Victorine’s life has revolved around education.
After earning degrees in education at Oregon State University and doing her student-teaching in Philomath, Victorine has worked as a teacher at two high schools and a middle school, including her current position in career and technical education and culinary arts.
“I’m a full-time teacher here at West Albany and I want to be involved in the (Philomath) school system,” said Victorine, who has a kindergartner and second-grader in the school system. “I can’t do volunteer hours in the middle of the day because I’m working full-time and I believe in the process of education and how much involvement the school board has and I just want to be a part of the process.”
Victorine feels her past in education qualifies her to sit on a governing board.
“I don’t have anything to lose; there’s nothing juicy about me to try to get people to shy away from me,” she said. “I just think I have a lot to offer as far as my educational background and the fact that I’ve been in the educational realm for 18 years now.”
Victorine described herself as moderate with the quality of genuinely caring about the kids.
“I’ve worked in middle school and I’ve worked in high school and they have so much to offer,” she said. “I want them to be successful and I want board members to do everything in their power to make sure they are successful.”
Members of public boards can face conflict depending on the issues at hand.
“As an educator, you sometimes get those tough questions like, ‘are you treating my child like all of the others?’ I think I’ve learned over the past 18 years to navigate that politely and very equally,” she said. “One of my goals and I tell my students this, too, I try very, very hard to not play favorites because when I was a student, I remember what it was like when somebody was a favorite of a teacher or wasn’t and it bothered me so much.”
Victorine said it comes down to compassion.
“It shows that you care and you’re open-minded,” she said. “Somebody may have a different agenda that they want to put out. I hear all kinds of agendas from students in the school setting. I think just having the educational background and being able to respond calmly is going to be helpful.”
Victorine did her student teaching at Philomath High in 2002.
“That’s been quite a few years ago and a lot of things of changed since then but I really loved the community,” she said. “The community sort of stands for a lot of what I find as personal hobbies. I love being outdoors, I love hunting and fishing, I love gardening. So I feel like I’m a good match for this community.”
Victorine said elections often get caught up in the stereotypical class president battles one might’ve seen in high school when unrealistic promises get thrown around by students. But she said she knows there are no guarantees when it comes to things like budget numbers and funding programs — to name one example.
“The reality is you have to make those hard decisions ... just being involved in realizing it’s a big position that should not be taken lightly,” Victorine said.