Civics Learning Project welcomes Molly Hylton to the team as our new Senior Program Manager of Outreach & Engagement.
About the Position
The passage of The Civics Education Act (SB 513) ensures that beginning with the class of 2026, every high school student in the state will complete a half credit of civics education in order to graduate. The new Outreach & Engagement position was created to help Civics Learning Project connect with and support more schools, teachers, and students throughout Oregon.
In this new position, Molly is responsible for connecting with Education Service Districts, school districts, schools, and teachers across the state with CLP resources, ensuring awareness of the new civics education course requirements of SB 513, as well as of the importance of experiential learning as a best practice for civics education and social emotional learning. Molly will support teacher professional development and other CLP activities to connect educators at all levels with the tools they need to be successful in the classroom.
Molly will also serve as the Regional Program Manager in the South Willamette Valley, providing direct support for educators in Benton, Lane, Lincoln, Marion, and Polk counties.
What did you do before joining Civics Learning Project?
I taught at Sunset High School in Beaverton as an ELA teacher and AVID teacher. Over my seven years at Sunset, I had amazing teaching experiences with inspiring students and worked with incredible co-workers.
How did you first get involved with CLP?
I was introduced to CLP a few years ago when a colleague, Beth Merrill, informed me about Project Citizen (now Community Action Projects, or CAPs). She and I would often share ideas and discuss the lack of opportunity and understanding for students to be engaged and accountable in their communities. CAPs truly tackles both of these issues, and the outcome has always been one that surpasses expectations for both the teacher and students.
What’s your favorite CLP program, and why?
Community Action Projects! The first time I had students work through a project, one student shared how powerful it was to know that people who make policy decisions were listening to her. The entire process works to change how students and young people think about themselves as participants in their communities, and get to see that their ideas matter and, more importantly, can affect real change.
What are your hopes and goals for this new position and its impact on civics education in Oregon?
Civics Learning Project inspired me as a teacher and now I get to help spread its programs and magic to other educators! It can be tough to come up with projects that are engaging and work through problems. My goal is to make things a bit easier for educators tasked with implementing the new high school civics requirement, along with any teacher or district in the state that wants to try something new and effective. My hope is that Oregon will continue to value civics education, and the Civics Education Act is an important step toward creating a space of listening and sharing multiple perspectives in an effective, constructive way.
Why is civics education important to you? Why should young Oregonians care about it?
Young people need to know they can have an impact on their communities, and educators need to focus on not just identifying problems, but also providing students with the information, tools, and confidence to solve them. Young people are creative, motivated, and want to bring about positive change, so I see civics education as a way to help share resources that empower young people to take action, choose the best steps, and be accountable to each other and their communities.
What do you like to do when you’re not at work?
I enjoy golfing when I can, going on a hike with friends or family, and learning from my children. I love a good fish taco, sunsets, and snowboarding, and my favorite place is next to or on a river.