Milwaukie resident launches write-in campaign for Clackamas Community College school board role held by Dave Hunt

David W. Kays

CCC write-in candidate David W. Kays. Photo provided by the Kays campaign; Kathy Landis-Kays

Story by Laura Canida

Milwaukie resident David W. Kays launched a write-in campaign this past weekend for the Clackamas Community College Director, Zone 3 – Gladstone position, which serves Gladstone, Oak Grove, and Jennings Lodge areas. 

In a statement sent to The Clackamas Print on May 9, Kays said that during his own voting experience, he realized that there was a need for a new voice to represent the Clackamas Community College Board in Zone 3 – Gladstone.  The current director, Dave Hunt, is on a leave of absence after being cited for commercial sexual misconduct in April. Ballots have already been mailed for the May 18 special election.

“I would be happy to serve the CCC community for a four-year term. Now I’m asking for others to write me in,” Kays said.

Kays is a 33-year music educator, teaching at Lincoln High School in Portland since 2015. Prior to that, Kays taught in the Gladstone School District for 15 years. Kays lives with his wife of 36 years, Kathy Landis-Kays, in the Oak Grove neighborhood in Milwaukie. Both of their children – Madeline, 26, and Everett, 21 – have attended CCC.

“I taught in Gladstone and was active in the community, later moving to Milwaukie. My two children have both attended CCC, as have I for continuing education as I expanded my music education focus to include music technology and audio engineering,” Kays said, “Community colleges are vital to the access to advanced education and skills training for a wide variety of our community. I want to help expand that access while advocating for effective use of resources, innovation, and community integration and outreach.”

Kays grew up in Portland, attending Franklin High School, Portland State University, and the University of Oregon, where he received his Bachelor’s in Music Education. He taught at Benson High School in Portland, then moved to Arizona to complete his Master’s in Music Education from Arizona State University in Tempe. He taught in Gilbert, AZ., and Lacey, WA., before returning to Oregon and working for Lake Oswego Public Schools. He transitioned to Gladstone in 1999, teaching at Kraxberger Junior High School and later also serving as music director at Gladstone High School. He moved on to Lincoln High School in Portland Public Schools in 2015. He has taken continuing education classes at Clackamas Community College in 2019 and 2020.

In addition to his professional commitments, Kays has been a volunteer in education, most recently focusing on equitable access for music education and career technical education related to music education.

“I know that community colleges are an asset to a healthy and expanding economy, and in creating access for people to advanced education and learning opportunities,” Kays added. “I believe I can be a positive contributor to the future of CCC.”

For questions, contact Kathy Landis-Kays at 503-341-0268 or

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Laura Canida

Laura Canida is the current managing editor for The Clackamas Print. She started her first term in the spring of 2019. She is earning her Journalism Certificate, DMC/Journalism AAS, and working towards her AAOT (transfer degree.)