Diana White, the current president, created the opening when she opted to run for Edmonds City Council rather than seek another term.
Lisa Hunnewell, Rina Maile Redrup, Casey Auve III and Nancy Katims, each of whom has a history of involvement with the district and the community, are competing for the post. It is the first campaign for all four candidates. The top two finishers in the Aug. 6 primary will meet in the general election in November. The eventual winner will earn a four-year term representing District 5 which takes in the northwest part of the school district, including the Meadowdale area and the northwest part of the city of Edmonds.
The district has an enrollment of 20,299 students and an annual operating budget of $321.6 million.
Hunnewell, 53, of Edmonds, is a senior manager for the Snohomish County Public Utilities District. She is a former president of Trinity Lutheran Church in Lynnwood and coached youth soccer in the Northwest Christian Sports League. Her three children were educated in district schools. At the encouragement of White, Hunnewell volunteered last year for the committee developing a potential capital bond measure to put in front of district voters in 2020. As part of their work, members toured every school to assess the facilities’ conditions.
“I have seen the crowded classrooms, the closets being turned into counseling spaces, and the libraries functioning as classrooms. I have walked with dedicated principals, teachers and staff through their buildings who are proud of how much they are accomplishing in very difficult situations,” she said.
If elected, she said she’ll work to pass a bond to construct two new middle schools. She also will work to strengthen partnerships with community organizations in support of homeless students, and develop sustainable budgets to avoid paring spending that hurts what goes on in the classrooms.
“I’m a parent willing to serve and I don’t want to be tied to any special interest,” she said.
Rina Maile Redrup
Redrup, 53, of Edmonds, is a surgical nurse at Providence Regional Medical Center Everett. Prior to nursing, she was an elementary teacher for 10 years in Vancouver. She is a former leader of the parents group at Meadowdale High School and her three children are graduates of district schools. A chief concern is ensuring budget cuts are made from the “top down, starting at a district level” and avert trimming salaries and classroom posts.
“I believe that success depends on what reaches each student day to day — qualified teachers who have small classes, well-trained para-educators to assist with mainstreamed students and necessary materials,” she said.
She said she’ll look to reduce unnecessary testing of students, increase vocational education opportunities and improve communication between the board and community. And she would like to see development of more comprehensive curriculum in literature, history and sex education “so that marginalized groups see themselves reflected in what they are taught.”
Snohomish County Councilwoman Stephanie Wright and the Snohomish County Labor Council have endorsed her.
Casey Auve III
Auve, 35, of Edmonds, is owner of Auve Industries and Uniquely NW Publications. He is former president and current vice president of the Foundation for Edmonds School District, a Lynnwood Rotarian and volunteers with several community groups. He has one child at Seaview Elementary and a second is in pre-school. Auve learned graphic design through a vocational program at a Seattle high school.
It’s why “vocational education is my passion,” he said. “There needs to be a career path for those kids who do not want to go to a four-year college. I want to give them more options.”
He views the district’s present budget challenges as temporary and its financial health will improve as state and local funding stabilizes in the next couple years. He wants to solidify ties between the district and the foundation which he said have not always been strong.
Lynnwood Councilwoman Shannon Sessions and past Lynnwood Rotary president Bob Fuller have endorsed him.
Katims, 70, of Edmonds, retired in 2015 as program director of student learning for the Edmonds School District. Her two children graduated from district schools.
She began her career in education as an instructor at Northwestern University in 1974. She worked in special education and administration in Texas schools, and for ETS (Educational Testing Service) in New Jersey before joining the Edmonds district in 1999, according to her candidate statement. She said she decided to run because she felt the district had lost its sense of urgency about student learning and improving outcomes for all students. Katims said her knowledge and experience in the district will enable her to “bring a strong voice of leadership and energy” to the board.
She said she wants to ensure all students have equitable access to services and to improve the board’s communication with the community. Katims disagreed with the board decision to lay off teachers, saying the district “could live another year with a little less in its fund balance to keep teachers on the job.”
The Edmonds Education Association, which is the district’s teachers’ union, and Edmonds School Director Carin Chase have endorsed her.
Jerry Cornfield: 360-352-8623; jcornfield@herald net.com. Twitter: @dospueblos.