The Portland Board of Public Education voted at its Aug. 2 meeting to amend its leadership structure to add a vice chair position. Board members then voted unanimously to chose District 3 member Adam Burk as their new vice chair.
The new position was added to provide additional leadership on the Board and assist in communications with Board members. The vice chair also will lead meetings if the chair is absent.
Burk was nominated by Board Chair Emily Figdor, who noted that other school boards typically have vice chairs and this will put Portland's Board more in line with common practice.
“I am excited to nominate him,” Figdor said. She said Burk is a “thought leader, he is deeply analytical and also thinks outside the box, which is a pretty atypical and valuable combination.” She said Burk also is a “rigorous practitioner of anti-racism” and has “at times helped push the Board out of complacency or revealed biases in our approach.” She added, “I’m confident that Adam will strengthen our work as a Board.”
Burk said that he is “wholeheartedly committed to our students and education.” He said he sought the role of vice chair because he wants “to make the best use of myself and my experience.”
Burk was elected as the District 3 representative in 2019. He is seeking re-election to that seat this November.
In the future, the Board will select a vice chair in December, at the same time each year that it chooses a chair and inaugurates new Board members.
Watch the Aug. 2 Board meeting on YouTube.