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Burlington-Edison School District 100 Director District 4

4-year term. No salary, but some districts offer small per diem for evening meetings. School Board members, or “directors,” are the elected governing body of the school district, serving four-year terms. The school board’s governance responsibilities fall in four major areas: Vision – a focus on student achievement through a comprehensive strategic planning process; Structure – prudent financial planning and oversight, as well as diligent and innovative policy-making; Accountability – specific goals and a process for evaluating, reporting and making recommendations for improvements; and Advocacy – championing public education in the local community and before state and federal policy makers. The School Board sets the general policies of the district, which are implemented by the hired professional district superintendent and certificated teaching staff and personnel. One of its critical duties is the adoption of the district's budget and proposal of any school levies to be placed on the ballot to the people. The board sets policies and approves all spending via the budget. It also sets salaries for school district employees.

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  • Karen Molenaar Terrell
    (NP)

  • Candidate picture

    Rich Wesen
    (NP)

Biographical Information

What unique qualities about yourself, your experiences, and your education separate you from the other seekers of this office?

What, in your opinion, are the three most pressing issues facing your school district at this time?

How would you address the one at the top of your list?

How would you balance educational opportunities between schools?

How would you assure the safety of all students in your schools?

What are the issues that need to be addressed to provide racial equality in the schools?

How should technical training be offered in the secondary schools?

How can the schools provide adequate education for homeless, immigrant, refugee and non-English speaking children at all levels?

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Phone (360) 766-6850
Email rwesen@hotmail.com
Town where you live Bow
Experience (300 characters max) I have served on the school board for nine years and been President for three years.
I graduated from Burlington-Edison High School and I have a Bachelor of Science degree in Aeronautics and Astronautics University of Washington. I have lived in this community my entire life and my four children graduated from the B-E School District. I am very active in the community including 36 years in B-E Kiwanis (Club Secretary 20 years), President of the B-E Back to School Committee for 16 years, Vice President of the Burlington Healthy Community Committee for 6 years. I am also devoted to working with the B-E School District including being active for 20 years in the Edison Booster Club (President 2 years). I served on the B-E Citizens Advisory Committee three years (President 1 year). I served on the Dual Language Committee. I have served on the B-E School Board nine years (President 3 years).
Improving Security, maintaining a positive budget with at least a 4% reserve, and working to improve the social well being of our students.
A security consulting team has just completed a report studying all of our schools. Because we have been cautious with our budget we will be able to begin to address some of these concerns without asking voters for additional money. This will include increasing security personnel at the high school, installing external cameras and locking doors in our buildings, and installing cameras on all busses. We currently practice active shooter drills and we will be increasing training for staff and administrators so they will be prepared to handle challenging situations.

Our District provides additional resources to schools with high numbers of students with free and reduced lunches. This includes additional staff and lower class sizes. We also apply and receive grants including 21st Century, AVID and GEAR UP. These enable us to provide summer programs and after school programs during the school year for our students.

In addition to the security measures I mentioned previously, we continue to support our counselors. We have also added additional nurses, and we are looking to add psychologists to our staff. We will also be conducting a seismic study to determine the safety of our buildings.

Our District has a large Hispanic population and we strive to hire Latino staff to reflect our student population. We have classes to support Hispanic students who are considering going into teaching and we support them when they graduate. Our goal is that they attend Skagit Valley College, graduate from Western Washington University, and return to teach at Burlington. Our District also has a family resource program that works with community groups to support minority families and we have a home visitation program in which teachers conduct voluntary home visits to build bonds between families and the school district.

Our District offers a diverse selection of career and technical courses at the high school. They include business, marketing and computer technology, agriculture, digital arts, family and consumer science, engineering, technology, welding, and American Sign Language. We also participate in one to two day programs sponsored by trade unions. Additionally, our District partners with the Northwest Career and Technical Center in Mount Vernon and we encourage our students to attend. We have 75 students taking courses such as animal care, culinary arts criminal justice, medical and dental assistance, and marine and auto programs.

Our District has a Student Support Services Administrator who works to reduce absenteeism and truancy. This involves contacting students when they are chronically absent and supporting them and their families in many ways. She may coordinate transportation, provide translators, or get them in touch with professional support when there is a crisis. She works with Burlington Rotary and is able to provide material support also. In the first year of this program the Student Support Services Administrator has reduced our chronically absenteeism rate by nearly one fifth.