Philomath is my hometown
My family moved to Philomath from Hermiston, Oregon when I was two years old. My childhood was spent playing in Philomath city parks, attending Philomath public schools, reading books with my dad at the Philomath Community Library, and being raised by the Philomath community.
Those experiences taught me just how incredible Philomath can be - and inspired me to make sure that every kid who grows up in Philomath feels the same type of love and support that I did, regardless of their background, identity, or personal circumstances. No members of our community should be left behind.
As I got older, all those stories I read in the library and exhibits I saw at the museum inspired an intense love of storytelling which grew into a passion for filmmaking. I began spending my summers with friends working on film projects and making videos about local news and events.
Making those projects introduced me to so many incredible people and helped me learn so much more about our community - and in turn, inspired me to get involved and start giving back to this place that I love so much. I served as Student Body President at both Philomath Middle School and Philomath High School, working to make our schools more welcoming and supportive places for every student who attends.
After graduating from PHS in 2017, my passion for filmmaking propelled me south to Los Angeles where I attended the University of Southern California (USC). However, my experiences in high school stayed with me, and it became increasingly clear to me that filmmaking alone wasn't going to cut it for me anymore. I wanted to continue to make a positive impact in my community. During my time at USC, in addition to making films and writing papers, I served as an Undergraduate Student Government Senator and chaired the Norman Topping Student Aid Fund (NTSAF) - the nation's first (and only) student-initiated, student-funded, and student-governed student aid fund, serving primarily first-gen, low-income students from underrepresented backgrounds with demonstrated histories of community service.
Photo by PHS Yearbook
In addition to a growing distaste for the entertainment industry and a growing interest in public service, I also found myself yearning for the green trees, rugged terrain, natural beauty, and community spirit back in Oregon.
I ended up graduating from USC in 2021 with a BA in Political Science and a BFA in Film & Television Production, and promptly headed back to Philomath, not knowing exactly what my future would hold - but knowing that I was headed back home.
I now work as a Legislative Staffer in the Oregon House of Representatives, while still producing film & multimedia content on the side. But, perhaps even more importantly, I've found myself thriving on the opportunities for community involvement back here in Philomath (see below for a comprehensive list). It's been an absolute pleasure to dive back in to our incredible little town, and I can't wait to continue doing so in the future.
Philomath School Board (2022-Present)
City of Philomath Budget Committee (2021-Present)
City of Philomath Inclusivity Committee (2022-Present)
City of Philomath Public Art Committee Chair (2021-Present)
Philomath School District Budget Committee (2021-2022)
Philomath Fire & Rescue Budget Committee (2022)
Corvallis-Benton County Public Library Advisory Board (2021-Present)
Strengthening Rural Families Board (2022 - Present)
Philomath School District Technology Committee (2016-2017)
Philomath High School Site Council (2015-2017)
Philomath High School Student Body President (2016-2017)
Philomath Middle School Student Body President (2012-2013)
Chas Jones, Philomath Mayor
Eric Niemann, Former Philomath Mayor
Van Hunsaker, Former Philomath Mayor
Nancy Wyse, Benton County Commissioner
Pat Malone, Benton County Commissioner
Xan Augerot, Benton County Commissioner