Board member steps down to allow room for diversity at CCC

Aaron Woods, Clackamas Community College Board of Education representee. Photo courtesy of Aaron Woods.

Betty Reynolds, former Clackamas Community College Board of Education representee. Photo courtesy of Betty Reynolds.

Clackamas Community College Board of Education member Betty Reynolds gave notice of her resignation this past July. Reynolds made it clear that the reason for her stepping down was to allow a person of color to take her place.

Before this year, the Board of Education at CCC was composed of only white people. After giving her resignation, she was shown full support by  CCC President Tim Cook. In an email to the staff members Cook said, “I commend Betty for relinquishing her seat in order to create space for us to attempt to bring diversity to the college’s top leaders and thank her for her service.” 

While speaking with Reynolds, she expressed her concern for the wellbeing of students at CCC during this pandemic. She said, “The pandemic disproportionately has an impact on communities of color.” However, Reynolds has full confidence in her former colleagues. She commended CCC by saying,  “The board, the administration and the faculty, are highly functioning, collaborative and very effective.”

Although the college lost a leader, the newest member of CCC’s Board of Education is Aaron Woods. Appointed September, Woods took over as the representative for the West Linn/Wilsonville area. He started his education at a community college, leading him to more than 30 years of IT work experience. Woods also promotes diversity and equity through the Wilsonville Alliance of Inclusive Community, (WAIC) which he recently co-founded. 

Woods spoke highly of everyone he has come in contact with over the past few months. Woods said he feels passionately about technological advances for the entire community. Having worked in IT for over 30 years, he believes very strongly  that having access to high speed affordable internet is a right. Not only does he want to eliminate the technology gap, but he wishes to create certificate programs at CCC that will open up students to a number of careers in the IT industry. 

Not only does Woods advocate for technological advances, but he focuses on benefiting communities of color. As an African American, Woods said, “ Diversity, Equity and Inclusion is a part of me.” He plans to work hard to make sure that communities of color are available to resources and given the same opportunities as predominantly white communities.