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Snohomish Everett School District 2 Director-At-Large Position #5

4-year term No Salary, 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 – focuses the work on student achievement through a comprehensive strategic planning process; Structure – provides prudent financial planning and oversight; diligent and innovative policymaking; Accountability – sets specific goals and a process for evaluation, reporting and recommendations for improvements; and Advocacy – champions 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 the 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 commission sets policies and approves all spending via the budget. The council also sets salaries for district employees.
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    Pam Lesesne (NP) Retired, US Navy Captain

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    Janelle Nixon-Burke (NP) Journalist/Teen Assistant-YMCA

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Biographical Information

Of three major issues facing your district, which one is the most urgent?

What is your position on Charter Schools as a part of your public school system?

What is your position on testing of your students?

What is your opinion on "start times" for elementary and secondary school?

How can the on-time graduation rate be improved?

How should bullying be addressed?

What would be your plan to see that your school district students earn their civics credit required by the new state law?

What is your opinion of student suspension for classroom disruption?

Phone (425) 337-2018
Town where you live Everett
Experience (300 characters max) BS in Chemistry and an MS in Mechanical Engineering. Both of my children are graduates of Everett Schools. School Board Director (2011- 2017); Board President (2013-2015); Everett Schools Strategic Planning Council; Everett Schools Fiscal Advisory Council; Civil Service Commissioner, City of Everett
The most critical issues facing our teachers are time to teach the content for which they are responsible, time to collaborate with their team members, challenges posed by poverty and childhood trauma, and having standards-aligned resources they need to ensure success in the standards-based world in which we work. These are the challenges that speak to the reason people become teachers; to help kids grow and be ready for the world in which they will live and work. I think there are other challenges, like our legislators’ big adjustments to compensation, to school funding, to our operating rules, but I think those that impact what happens daily between students and their teacher are the most critical.
There are many challenges placed on public schools, time to teach the contents, time to collaborate with team members, challenges posed by poverty and childhood trauma and having the standards-aligned resources need to ensure each child’s success. All children whether highly capable, special needs, low-income, disenfranchised, English language learners, homeless, latchkey, and more come into the doors of public education. No children are turned away. Resources may or may not be aligned to ensure all programs are fully funded to support all of the needs that exist. Through it all public education is there to provide for all students no matter what their needs are or how they come to school. Fully supporting public education first, ensures that all children get a quality education. As a school board member I will continue to advocate for promoting quality public schools.
As a board member, I will continue to advocate for a reasonable level of accountability for our schools. I think the amount of standardized assessment must be balanced carefully against the need for quality instructional time with students. Our elementary and middle schools have shown they manage the assessment workload well, and the results over the past few years (with the switch to Common Core) are definitely improving. This is really good for our students, and it shows our community how good our teachers and our schools are today. While they have responded professionally and successfully, our high schools have been inundated with assessment changes that our legislators could and should have avoided, and I think that needs to change.
More study needs to be done in finding the right start times for our children to ensure that students are learning at their peak efficiencies. School districts, parents, community partners like the YMCA/YWCA, Big Brother and Big Sisters, little leagues and other sports organizations should partner to share their expertise and coordinate their programs with any planned time changes. Current “start times” changes should not change without a coordinated effort by all group who are involved in our students educational, social and emotional development.
Ensuring that our students have the support they need to achieve is important. Monitoring their success or lack of success throughout their primary years and start of middle and high school will help in getting the support earlier rather than later. We should be partnering with families and community leaders in establishing the need to be at school when school is in session and having a safe environment for after school play. We should also allow our students to be engaged with internship and apprenticeship program so that they can see the relevance of classroom studies to work and business. Also, when students themselves are allowed to help plan what they would like to do after graduation, helps them focus on achieving that plan or modifying when necessary.
Developing policies that emphasize providing learning environments free from harassment, bullying and intimidation is very important. As a board member of the Everett Public Schools, I am very glad that we have a district where our emphasis and stance on student safety is grounded in policy and precedent. Providing an atmosphere that is welcoming for all and that any report will be acted on immediately and taken seriously. Keeping parents and engaged through education with current situations in social media and on the internet. Developing and adhering with internet and social media citizenship and how to recognize certain unacceptable behaviors.
My plan would be to include the framework that is suggested (what we call 21st Century Skills of critical thinking, creativity, collaboration and communication throughout all curriculums. Require students to be engaged with current events in their community’s political, socio-economic corridors and higher educational corridors with projects or in classroom and out of classroom discussions.
One major challenge of deciding when to suspend or not to suspend understands that when a student is not in the classroom, that student is not learning. What resources are available to a student that is suspended? How will that student maintain or continue their progression in the classroom. For students of color we have other issues to consider. Could this action on the administrations part, be case of implicit bias or not? Are we fully training on what is our inherent implicit bias? Implicit racial bias, rather than deliberate acts of racism, may be at the root of the discipline disparities we see with students of color. There are several concerns that need to be investigated, but my primary belief is that when a student is not in the classroom that student is not learning or motivated to learn on their own. There are very few students who would look at this as an opportunity to continue their learning at home on a computer.
Phone (425) 224-9447
Town where you live View-Ridge Madison, Everett, WA
Experience (300 characters max) Please see
There are so many issues of urgency within the district and none more important than the other. One of the most disturbing practices that is becoming a major issue is the school district fueling the School-To-Prison pipeline. This is an issue that is not discussed, touched and is swept under the rug and hidden by district policies. It is time for transparency for our youths safety.
As a product of various forms of Primary education, I honesty have no issues with them. I believe that as each child’s education is guaranteed that the monies for that child’s education should follow them wherever they choose to attend. I do desire that Charter schools be mandated to follow federal guidelines regarding discrimination.
There needs to be a viable way to test students’ abilities and understanding. Our current system is not for that but to assess teachers by what the tests show that kids know. It is not functional and a waste of money. In my opinion the key principles and characteristics of an effective student assessment system needs to be examined, developed and implemented with urgency.
After speaking with my children and other youth in the district, I tend to agree with them. Start times won’t really effect anything but if it has to happen that it should be an issue that is discussed with the districts’ Board of Directors and students to see if it’s what the parents of the youth to see how they truly feel about it. We need to start listening to our community.
On-time graduation can be improved by lower suspension rates, betterment of student engagement, betterment of early intervention by the district personnel. We must be observant and ready to take action which means more active listening and all persons involved in the education system to be more proactive and not reactive.
Bullying needs to be addressed with urgency. Policies need to be followed and not ignored. Policies need not to be addressed just toward underrepresented students who are afraid to be a voice for themselves. Students bullied on, need to learn self-advocacy. Bullied on students need intervention, therapy and a safe person to talk to as they are more likely than not, victims of bullying past of present. Addressing bullying needs an administration and community that cares.
I think that more extracurricular activities like 4h clubs that reference civility and knowing your government would work wonders in our schools to get the requirements in for the civics credit. It really would depend on in my opinion, once again, input from the community because I am sure there are groups, educators, professionals that have grand ideas to implement that would make getting that civics credit a breeze.
Suspension for classroom disruption helps fuel the School-To-Prison pipeline, helps fuel the truancy issues and causes a decline when it comes to On Time Graduation.

For starters Washington State Law needs to be revisited regarding the misdemeanor of disruption during the school day. School policies need to be more common sense and less criminalizing. We need more parental involvement and volunteers who have the ability and heart to interact with those children that may need more attention, help and guidance than what the educators can currently give while trying to focus on teaching. logo


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