Mother with federal policy resume gets seat on Marysville School Board

The school board unanimously appointed Kristen Michal to fill the vacancy left by Katie Jackson’s resignation.

Katie Jackson

Katie Jackson

MARYSVILLE — Kristen Michal, a longtime local volunteer and former federal legislative assistant, will join the Marysville School Board later this month.

Board members unanimously selected Michal from a pool of seven applicants to fill a vacancy left by Katie Jackson’s resignation. Jackson resigned Nov. 7 for personal reasons.

Michal, 54, currently serves on the City of Marysville Planning Commission. She started her career as a legislative assistant to Republican Slade Gorton in the U.S. Senate, where she focused on health, labor and education policies, she said.

Her resume also includes time as director of federal relations for the Washington State Hospital Association. In that role, she tracked healthcare legislation and regulations and lobbied for measures the organization had endorsed.

“I understand how policy is made. I understand working with different sides that have different opinions and coming together to get some sort of a solution,” Michal told The Daily Herald in a phone interview.

For about a decade, she worked as a consultant with Washington 2 Advocates, a Bellevue-based company that helps companies with lobbying, communications, public affairs and leadership training. In 2016, she stepped back from the “work world” to dedicate more time to her children, she said. Now her professional title is “chief problem solver” at home, she joked.

Michal, a mother of two Marysville graduates and one high school junior, said she has logged “hundreds of hours volunteering in schools.” All of her children participated in the district’s co-operative education program that requires parents to volunteer at least two hours a week in the classroom at Marshall Elementary School.

“One of the things that really has been such a blessing is that I’ve had the chance to see firsthand the care and professionalism of staff, from our paras and our teachers to the secretaries at our schools,” Michal said.

Michal has also been critical of the district’s response to racist incidents in the past two years.

As a school board member, Michal wants to “highlight some of the good things happening in Marysville, because I think sometimes there is a perception gap.” She acknowledges that there are “areas where we need improvement.”

“We have a levy facing the voters on Feb. 14, and it’s a big, big deal for our district,” she said. “It fills the funding gap between what the state funds and what our district needs. When we are talking about improving student learning, (the levy) helps pay for those paraprofessionals that are the ones that sit down and work with the kiddos that are having challenges.”

She’ll be sworn in for the next regular meeting Feb. 6.

Mallory Gruben is a Report for America corps member who writes about education for The Daily Herald.

Mallory Gruben: 425-339-3035;; Twitter: @MalloryGruben.

Talk to us

More in Local News

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Mountlake Terrace in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Mountlake Terrace council taps planning commissioner for open seat

With five votes, Rory Paine-Donovan was affirmed to join the ranks of the Mountlake Terrace City Council.

CEO Amy King standing outside of a Pallet shelter. (Courtesy of Pallet)
After rapid rise, Everett’s Pallet hits milestone: 100 shelter villages

Temporary home manufacturer Pallet hires locals who have “experienced homelessness, substance abuse or the justice system.”

Locals from the group Safe Lynnwood gather in front of the Ryann Building on 196th Street SW to protest the opening of a methadone clinic in the building on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, in Lynnwood, Washington. (Ryan Berry / The Herald)
Despite controversy, Lynnwood opioid treatment center opens its doors

For weeks, protesters have objected to the center opening near Little League fields and a Boys and Girls Club.

A man was injured and a woman found dead Sunday night after an RV fire in Marysville. (Marysville Fire District)
Woman dead, man burned in Marysville RV fire

The Snohomish County Fire Marshal’s Office and Marysville Police Department were investigating the cause of the fire.

Ismael Cruz-Sanchez speaks at his sentencing at the Snohomish County Courthouse on Monday, Jan. 30, 2023 in Everett, Washington. (Olivia Vanni / The Herald)
Driver in fatal I-5 crash in Arlington gets 10 years

Ismael Cruz-Sanchez had a lengthy history with impaired driving. He pleaded guilty to killing Jason Vogan, 45.

Logo for news use featuring the municipality of Snohomish in Snohomish County, Washington. 220118
Boil water advisory in effect for 75 Snohomish homes

A water main break resulted in outages and possible contamination Sunday. Service was expected to return by Wednesday.

NO CAPTION NECESSARY: Logo for the Cornfield Report by Jerry Cornfield. 20200112
No right turns on red gets a look, a bid to expand sports betting arrives

It’s a new week. Here’s what’s happening on Day 22 of the 2023 session of the Washington Legislature

The final 747 is revealed during a celebration in Everett, Washington on Tuesday, Jan. 31, 2023. The plane was rolled out Dec. 6 from the Everett assembly factory and delivered to the customer, Atlas Air. (Annie Barker / The Herald)
‘Still jaw-dropping’: Last Boeing 747 takes the stage in Everett

Thousands, including actor John Travolta, gathered at Boeing’s Everett factory to bid goodbye to the “Queen of the Skies.”

Logo for news use, for stories regarding Washington state government — Olympia, the Legislature and state agencies. No caption necessary. 20220331
Lobbyist barred from WA Capitol after ruling he stalked representative

State Rep. Lauren Davis, D-Shoreline, obtained a domestic violence protective order against longtime lobbyist Cody Arledge.

Most Read