Town where you live
Lake Forest Park
Experience (300 characters max)
BA Business Administration, University of Washington; 10 year career in sales;
PTA-served 13 years in various positions including president, legislation chair, volunteer and chair of many committees; Former Shoreline Public Schools Foundation co-president and board member. Served 6 yrs.
Raising two children and being deeply involved with the District, I understand our challenges.
• Most importantly, we must provide top quality education for every Shoreline student by ensuring equity and accessibility for all students, including effective implementation of new programs for Special Education, Highly Capable and Race & Equity, and providing strong leadership for a smooth transition while moving 6th grade to middle school.
• Ensure strong financial stewardship as we build new schools. We must be on time and on budget while creating exceptional facilities that serve students now and in the future.
• Advocate for adequate education funding while spending our dollars wisely. The new State budget tries to address education funding, but it may in fact leave our district with far less money. As a result, there may be some tougher times ahead and it will be imperative that we engage our community, teachers and staff as we work together to best serve our students.
Vouchers are illegal in the State of Washington. There are no charter schools in the Shoreline School District boundaries. By ensuring our public schools are strong and effective, people will be less likely to feel a need for charter school options and tax dollars will not be diluted across more systems.
My daughter is a high school junior and my son recently graduated. They were tested throughout elementary, middle and high school. We had the WASL, then MSP, then Smarter Balanced, and now they have taken AP tests, EOC Biology tests, PSAT, SAT, ACT, and subject tests for college applications. It is a lot. Like every parent, I want to know that my kid is learning and that our system is keeping up with other kids in the state, the nation and around the world. We must, however, strike a balance.
Research is clear that older students would benefit from later school start times and at the same time, you don’t want elementary kids standing on the street in the dark waiting for a bus in the morning. We must keep working toward later start times for secondary students, but I understand the challenges of busing, sports competitions, working students and other scheduling difficulties that have impeded significant progress. For instance, our district has sports competitions with surrounding districts, and if our district implemented later start times while other districts didn’t, our students would need to be pulled from class even earlier in the school day to meet the schedules of other districts. I believe our students already miss enough school for these activities. At the same time, I know how important after-school sports were to my son and many valuable lessons were learned through the sports programs, so it is imperative that any changes not eliminate those opportunities.
Shoreline School District has good graduation rates for many groups of students, but we must improve on-time graduation rates for low-income students of color and students in our special education programs. Through dedicated effort by the District Directors of Student Services and Equity & Family Engagement, committees including stakeholders and caregivers have been (or will soon be) developed to help address these challenges. Committees will evaluate our current approach, find areas for improvement, and select a course of action based on evidenced-based research and modeled after successful programs. Our programs will then need to be observed closely and evaluated before improving upon them as we strive to reach a system that works well for our District to improve graduation rates. As a school board member, I will ensure that all stakeholders are represented, that we engage targeted communities, and that progress is measured with changes quickly implemented if goals are not met.
The problem is usually about not understanding what it is like to be in someone else’s shoes and bystanders not intervening. Students need more time to learn and interact with each other, understand what to do as a bystander, and have time to practice, role play and listen. These skills should be woven into the school day. Our schools are currently working at this with programs such as the Roots of Empathy curriculum in the elementary schools; Positive Behavior Intervention Strategies (PBIS) implemented by Family Advocates and Counselors; assemblies about bullying and kindness in primary and secondary schools; school and PTA supported programs such as Recess Buddies and Buddy Benches/Tables; high school race and equity forums; and video campaigns designed by students. All students should feel respected and valued, and strong leadership at all levels is necessary to convey these values and positively influence school culture.
Shoreline School District already meets the new civics credit requirement. Our high schools have required a civics class for the past 3 years. I appreciate that there is a participation-in-the-real-world component where students must attend a city council or school council meeting, participate in a rally, or engage in some other way. My son enjoyed his Civics class and it added to our family dinner discussions.
Each event must be assessed individually, and in most cases, in-school suspension is the best option. I’ve known the kids who have behavior problems; they are not bad kids. We need to take the time to get to the bottom of each situation and apply appropriate consequences that leave all involved feeling that they have learned additional skills in coping, communicating and navigating difficult situations better. Shoreline School District currently has Family Advocates and Counselors in every school, along with several anti-bullying programs led by individual schools and PTAs (such as Roots of Empathy, anti-bullying assemblies, race and equity forums and more) designed to promote tolerance and compassion for others. These proactive programs and resources are the best way to reduce the number of disruptions and create positive school and classroom environments.
Town where you live
Experience (300 characters max)
Associate Faculty, Cascadia College; Chair & Elector, 2012 Washington State Electoral College
Funding for basic education is the primary issue facing Shoreline and every other district around the state. Without adequate and increased funding from the state, there will be many tough decisions weighing priorities that we will have to make.
The second major issue facing the District is how to create a culture that fosters the involvement of parents and their caregivers into the decision-making process. Parents play vital roles in preparing our children to learn and have valuable knowledge about what motivates their children and it is important that their perspectives and interests are valued.
The third major issue is that the District must remain accountable to Shoreline voters. With the passage of a bond to rebuild three schools and the early learning center, the District has additional responsibilities to be responsible with managing their projects. However, the District must think long term in its decisions – investments made now could reap benefits for years to come.
No! Public tax dollars used to support education should be accountable to the public. Charter schools utilize public dollars, but lack accountability to the community of tax payers funding them.
Testing is an important aid in the process of knowledge retention and helps teachers and students identify gaps in knowledge, as well as feedback about the presentation of educational material. For example, quizzes can be used as a form of study, helping students focus on core concepts.
However, there are limits to the utility of student testing, such as high stakes testing that may cause more problems for the students, rather than educational benefits
The research seems clear on the biological and learning arguments for later start times for secondary school students and earlier start times for elementary school students.
Before moving forward on changing start times, we need to engage in a discussion with parents and teachers about the associated impacts changed start times would have. Within the District, we need to evaluate the changed transportation needs to ensure that there are sufficient busses and drivers.
Families and caregivers also play an important role in ensuring our children are ready to learn each day. Changed start (and end times) will impact childcare situations. If families are currently dependent on older students for aftercare of elementary students, what alternatives could mitigate the gap created by shifting school start and end times?
I raise these questions as some of the issues that the Board and the community should consider before moving forward.
Graduation rates could be improved by decoupling high stakes testing and graduation requirements. Another mode of improving graduation rates is honoring and providing multiple pathways for students to achieve their high school diplomas including skills based and vocational training. I believe that teachers, counselors, and parents play important roles, along with the student, in determining the best path that leads to graduation
Bullying and harassment lead to lack of self-esteem and can lead to poor performance in the classroom. School personnel (including bus drivers) and classroom volunteers need to be trained to identify bullying, directly intervene when bullying occurs and support students who report bullying or harassing behavior. Assemblies that are developmentally appropriate may help to aid children in developing empathy and understanding of how bullying behaviors are harmful to others.
I believe that acts of bullying require early interventions to stop isolated incidents from reoccurring and prevent the escalation of bullying over time. Conference(s), that include the parent(s), teacher, student, school counselor and administration should be utilized to aid in correcting behavior. Parents and the larger community are instrumental in helping to reinforce models of anti-bullying/good behavior outside of school.
As a Political Scientist, I whole heartedly support civics education as it is vital to the health of our nation. Schools play an key role in political socialization and community engagement. We should explore ways to integrate civics education at all grade levels, teaching the importance of democratic values and the functions of our government. We should consider enhancing our expectations that high school students engage in community service projects, and work to develop partnerships with local civic leaders and community organizations to provide experiential learning opportunities.
National research shows that there is a tremendous amount of discrimination in student suspensions across the country with people of color and students with special needs disproportionally missing time in the classroom. We need to continue to develop alternative approaches that incorporate restorative practices into the school environment and point students toward resources to help develop emotional and social skills needed to succeed in the classroom. There is also work that should be done to help reintegrate students into the classroom after a disruption.
I believe that student suspensions should be the last resort, with every tool being utilized before a suspension occurs. Suspension should not result in the loss of access to education. Online modules or other alternative means can be used to provide students with the opportunity to keep up with the curriculum.