Top row: Vanessa Edwards (left) and Ray Sheldon Jr. Bottom row (from left): Connor Krebbs, Wade Rinehardt and Katie Jackson.

Top row: Vanessa Edwards (left) and Ray Sheldon Jr. Bottom row (from left): Connor Krebbs, Wade Rinehardt and Katie Jackson.

Anti-mandate school board candidates see mixed results here

Mandates, sex ed and critical race theory commanded the spotlight in Snohomish County school races.

MARYSVILLE — In an unusually contentious season for school board races, incumbents fared pretty well Tuesday.

Not in the Marysville School District, however. There, a conservative newcomer concerned about “critical race theory” was on his way to unseating the incumbent board president. And a second social conservative candidate led in a race for an open seat.

School board elections this year emerged as a proxy for a culture war on COVID-19 mask and vaccine mandates, sex education curriculum and how the history of racism in the United States is taught.

Here are results from a handful of contests in which these issues seemed as important to voters as school levies and standardized tests.


Randy Hayden, one of those conservative-leaning candidates, was ahead of appointed school director Maggie Weimer, 51.7% to 46.6% for a seat on the Darrington School Board.

Weimer was appointed to the vacant Position 4 seat in January. She is making her first run for office. Hayden is a Republican Party leader at the county and state levels and previously ran for state legislative office.

Top: Caroline Mason (left) and Jeannie Magdua. Bottom: Traci Mitchell (left) and Charles Mister, Jr.

Top: Caroline Mason (left) and Jeannie Magdua. Bottom: Traci Mitchell (left) and Charles Mister, Jr.


Director Caroline Mason led challenger Jeannie Magdua, 63.3% to 36.1% for Position 3 on the Everett School Board. Mason, the current board president, was seeking a second six-year term. Magdua is making her first run for office. The two provided voters a sharp contrast in style and substance.

Mason wanted another term to see the district through the pandemic. She said she wanted to make sure federal COVID aid will be used to protect the health of students and to help them regain academic ground.

Magdua entered the race out of concern over sex education curriculum and the influence of critical race theory on instruction. She opposed the state’s mask mandate and said salaries of the superintendent and teachers should be cut before a levy is put in front of voters in 2022.

Director Traci Mitchell, a pharmacist and volunteer in the medical reserve corps for the Snohomish Health District, won a second term by trouncing challenger Charles Mister, 72.8% to 26.3%.

Top (L-R): Nina Kim Hanson and Brett Rogers. Bottom (L-R): Vildan Kirby and Carolyn Bennett.

Top (L-R): Nina Kim Hanson and Brett Rogers. Bottom (L-R): Vildan Kirby and Carolyn Bennett.

Lake Stevens

Nina Kim Hanson held a 52.9% to 46.7% advantage on Brett Rogers for a four-year term in the District 4 seat on the Lake Stevens School Board.

Hanson, a parent of two young children, is a former college instructor and an active voice in the Lake Stevens BIPOC & Allies organization. This was her first run for office.

Rogers, an attorney and administrator with the parking enforcement program of the Seattle Police Department, ran unsuccessfully for state attorney general in 2020.

Vildan Kirby was leading Carolyn Bennett by a 55.8% to 43.3% margin for District 5.

Kirby, who has two middle school-aged sons, is a substitute teacher in the Lake Stevens School District.

Bennett, also a parent, serves on the city’s salary commission. She’s a granddaughter of the district’s former superintendent, Donald Oates.


Director Vanessa Edwards, who was seeking a second term, appeared to have lost to more conservative Wade Rinehardt, a Marysville Boys and Girls Club coach, by a margin of 57.3% to 42% in District 4.

Edwards, a former secretary at Cedarcrest Middle School, is board president. She has been at the helm as the district dealt with challenges wrought by the pandemic, criticism of its response to racist threats directed at students of color and the negotiated departure of Superintendent Jason Thompson this summer.

She campaigned on her experience, saying she better understands how decisions made at the top affect what happens in the classroom.

Rinehardt argued curriculum should be decided by the community, and in his opinion, the district should be teaching what he considers “unbiased history.” He did not back mandates for mask wearing.

In the duel for District 1, Connor Krebbs held a lead on Ray Sheldon, garnering 52.5% to Sheldon’s 47%.

In District 3, Sherry Weersing collected 83.4%. Keira Atchley, who currently holds the seat, campaigned as a write-in candidate.

Top row (L-R): Brian Saulsman, Jeremiah Campbell and Mary Reule. Bottom row (L-R): Molly Barnes, Janine Burkhardt and Sarah Johnson. Not pictured (and running unopposed): Jennifer Bumpus.

Top row (L-R): Brian Saulsman, Jeremiah Campbell and Mary Reule. Bottom row (L-R): Molly Barnes, Janine Burkhardt and Sarah Johnson. Not pictured (and running unopposed): Jennifer Bumpus.


Director Jeremiah Campbell looked to be staying on the Monroe School Board.

Two newcomers who supported mask and vaccine mandates were on course to join him.

Campbell, a middle school Spanish teacher in the Northshore School District, led Brian Saulsman, librarian at Lake Stevens Middle School, by a margin of 52.3% to 47.1% for District 1. Campbell was appointed to the board earlier this year.

In District 3, Mary Reule was ahead of Molly Barnes, 51.5% to 48% and in District 4, Sarah Johnson led Janine Burkhardt, 51.8% to 47.6%.

Barnes and Burkhardt carried the banner of social conservatives with concerns about the influence of “critical race theory” in the classroom and opposition to the mask mandate for students. Barnes also enlisted the services of a political consultant, whose clients include candidates alleging widespread fraud marred the 2020 election, in spite of evidence to the contrary.

Reule, a retired Monroe school teacher, and Johnson, a vocational rehabilitation counselor, backed the state’s mask and vaccine mandates to help keep students safe from the coronavirus.

From left: Judy Schwab, Peter Swardstrom, Jayme Lee Vail and Chuck Hauck.

From left: Judy Schwab, Peter Swardstrom, Jayme Lee Vail and Chuck Hauck.


Director Judy Schwab, who was seeking a seventh consecutive term, led Peter Swardstrom 66.4% to 33.3% for District 2 of the Mukilteo School Board.

Schwab was first elected to the board in 1997. She has a background in education and raised a son in the district.

This was the first run for any office for Swardstrom, who had a “back to the basics” platform. His two children are students in the district.

Charles Hauck had a slim advantage on Jayme Lee Vail, 52.4% to 47% for District 4.

Vail is a long-term care worker in assisted living and dementia care. She has two daughters in Mukilteo schools. Charles Hauck, a real estate broker, has grandchildren in the district. Both were first-time candidates.

Herald writer Andrea Brown contributed to this report.

Jerry Cornfield:; 360-352-8623; Twitter: @dospueblos.

Talk to us

> Give us your news tips.

> Send us a letter to the editor.

> More Herald contact information.

More in Local News

Kim Skarda points at her home on a map on Thursday, June 20, 2024 in Concrete, Washington. A community called Sauk River Estates has a very steep slope above it. There is a DNR-approved timber sale that boarders the estate properties, yet they were not consulted about the sale before approval. The community has already appealed the sale and has hired their own geologist to conduct a slope stability report at the site. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Beneath steep slope, Concrete neighbors fear landslides from logging above

Nielsen Brothers plans to cut 54 acres of timber directly behind the community of 83 homes. Locals said they were never consulted.

Law enforcement respond to a person hit by a train near the Port of Everett Mount Baker Terminal on Thursday, June 27, 2024 in Mukilteo, Washington. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
2 killed in waterfront train crashes were near Mukilteo ‘quiet zone’

In June, two people were hit by trains on separate days near Mukilteo Boulevard. “These situations are incredibly tragic,” Everett’s mayor said.

Rob Plotnikoff takes a measurement as a part of the county's State of Our Waters survey at Tambark Creek in Bothell, Washington on Monday, July 1, 2024. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
Snohomish County stream team bushwhacks a path to healthier waterways

This summer, the crew of three will survey 40 sites for the State of Our Waters program. It’s science in locals’ backyards.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
4th suspect arrested after Mountlake Terrace home robbery

Police arrested Taievion Rogers, 19, on Tuesday. Prosecutors charged his three alleged accomplices in April.

A 10 acre parcel off of Highway 99, between 240th and 242nd Street Southwest that the city of Edmonds is currently in the process of acquiring on Monday, July 10, 2023 in Edmonds, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Edmonds ditches $37M Landmark public park project off Highway 99

The previous mayor envisioned parks and more in south Edmonds, in a historically neglected area. The new administration is battling budget woes.

Edmonds school official sworn in as Mount Vernon supe

Victor Vergara took his oath of office last week. He was assistant superintendent of equity and student success in Edmonds.

Riaz Khan finally wins office on his fifth try. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Mukilteo state House candidate arrested weeks before jumping into race

The misdemeanor domestic violence case against Riaz Khan, a former Mukilteo City Council member, has since been dismissed.

Everett Fire responds to  a medical incident at Northern View Apartments in Everett. (Photo provided by Everett FIre)
Everett firefighters rescue man and dog in fire that displaces 8

It took about an hour for firefighters to extinguish the flames at the Northern View Apartments on Wednesday night.

The Sounder commuter train at Everett Station Wednesday evening on October 9, 2019.   (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Hop a Sounder train from Everett, Mukilteo, Edmonds to Mariners games

The next run is Sunday as the M’s face their division foe, the Houston Astros. The train departs Everett at 10:45 a.m.

Boeing 787's in various stages of assembly at Boeing's Everett Plant on April 29, 2017 in Everett. (The Boeing Co.)
Boeing workers signal support for strike if contract talks fail

The union is calling for a 40% raise for workers over the next three years.

A wall diagram shows the “journey of the ballot” at the new Elections Center on Tuesday, July 9, 2024 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Snohomish County primary election ballots shipped to registered voters

This year’s primary election will feature races in every corner of the county. Turn in a ballot by Aug. 6 to ensure your vote is counted.

A skeletonized cranium found at Scriber Lake Park in Lynnwood, WA on March 24, 2024. The remains are likely a black male estimated to be over 25 years of age and unknown height and weight. He is estimated to have been deceased at least one year. (Provided by Snohomish County Medical Examiner's Office)
Authorities seek help identifying partial skull found in Lynnwood park

A homeless man discovered the skull at Scriber Lake Park. Forensic scientists hope to connect the remains to a missing person.

Support local journalism

If you value local news, make a gift now to support the trusted journalism you get in The Daily Herald. Donations processed in this system are not tax deductible.