YOUR GOVERNMENT: School board to renew contracts for 2 top executives

Two top school officials in Salem will get new titles but keep the same jobs under contracts expected to be approved by the Salem-Keizer School Board on Tuesday, April 11.

Olga Cobb and Iton Udosenata have been offered three-year contracts that start July 1 and with pay of $191,084. School district officials said that is their current salary.

They will now be called deputy superintendents, a change district officials explained reflects the typical title for such positions in school systems.

Cobb started with the school district in 2000 as a bilingual instructional assistant. She has been assistant superintendent of elementary education since June 2021.

Udosenata, formerly a principal in Eugene, has been assistant superintendent for secondary education since June 2020.

In other action, the board was scheduled to declare April as Child Abuse Prevention Month.

Board members also were to declare it Arab American Heritage Month, noting in its resolution that the school district currently has 37 students born in Arab countries and 79 who learned Arabic as their first language.

“The history of Arab Americans in the U.S. remains neglected or defaced by misconceptions, bigotry and anti-Arab hate in the forms of targeted crimes and speech,” according to the resolution. “Arab American issues, such as civil rights abuses, harmful stereotyping and bullying must be combated in the forms of education and awareness. Salem-Keizer Public Schools condemns such harassment and violence across the country and within our community.”

The board is scheduled to meet in executive, or closed, session at 5:15 p.m. Tuesday, April 11, concerning labor negotiations.

The board also is scheduled to convene at noon Wednesday, April 12, for the next in a series of briefings for school board members and the community about the basics of the Salem-Keizer School District. The budgeting tutorials continue through April, ahead of Superintendent Christy Perry’s presentation on May 2 of her proposed budget for the next year.


Schedule: 6 p.m. Tuesday, April 11. 

Participation: The board will meet in person, but members of the public may only attend virtually.

The meeting will be streamed on CC:Media, channel 21, and on YouTube in English and in Spanish.

UPDATE: This story was updated to reflect new information from the district about pay levels.

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Les Zaitz is editor and CEO of Salem Reporter. He co-founded the news organization in 2018. He has been a journalist in Oregon for nearly 50 years in both daily and community newspapers and digital news services. He is nationally recognized for his commitment to local journalism. He also is editor and publisher of the Malheur Enterprise in Vale, Oregon.