Voters in 2016 approved a $116 million bond for the Lake Stevens High School overhaul and a new elementary and preschool. Students are expected to move into the first phase of the remodel this winter. (Lake Stevens School District)

Voters in 2016 approved a $116 million bond for the Lake Stevens High School overhaul and a new elementary and preschool. Students are expected to move into the first phase of the remodel this winter. (Lake Stevens School District)

Editorial: Reelect Lund to Lake Stevens School Board

Paul Lund, nearly 10 years on the board, continues to show enthusiasm for meeting students’ needs.

By The Herald Editorial Board

Serving the growing community of Lake Stevens, the Lake Stevens school board serves more than 9,300 students at 11 schools and employs 483 teachers. About 28 percent of its students qualify for free or reduced meals and 5 percent are English-language learners.

Three seats on the Lake Stevens school board are up for election, but only one seat is now contested.

District 1: Incumbent David Iseminger is running unopposed. Jason Call had filed to challenge Iseminger, but has since told The Herald he has dropped from the race in order to run for another office in 2020. His decision, however, came after the deadline for changes to the general election ballots. Iseminger has served on the school board for 12 years and is seeking a fourth four-year term.

District 2: Incumbent Paul Lund is challenged by Christina Gagnon for the four-year term.

Lund was originally appointed to fill a vacancy on the school board, and has won reelection twice, serving more than nine years on the board. Lund has recently retired from Boeing as an engineer, working on special assignments related to workplace culture and performance. Lund’s adult children graduated from Lake Stevens High School.

Gagnon has run a direct-sales business for 23 years. She is a graduate of the Sno-Isle TECH program and graduate from Snohomish High School. Gagnon did not respond to emails requesting an interview. Her profile in the county voters guide notes her volunteer work with the Lake Stevens Business Networking Group, the county’s guardian ad litem program and Junior Achievement and Big Brothers-Big Sisters of Snohomish County. Drawing on her Sno-Isle connection, Gagnon said she is a strong advocate of vocational education and would focus on expanding those opportunities.

Lund said he has tried to bring to the school district the same emphasis on creating a supportive, encouraging culture that he worked to achieve at Boeing, fulfilling the district’s strategic plan and encouraging community involvement.

Lund said he was supportive of the focus that the district has placed on helping students to be college and career ready, and sees the wealth of clubs at schools, such as robotics and others, as good ways to introduce students to potential career fields.

Lund agrees that the state needs to increase its funding for special education and noted that about 17 percent of the district’s enrollment are classified as having special needs, but Lund doesn’t see a need expressed by officials in other districts to change the formula that determines funding from local school levies.

“What we get (from the state and local levies) we use really well,” Lund said, emphasizing that he supports what state lawmakers did in increasing its share of school funding and limiting what is allowed through local school levies. District taxpayers, he said, have responded to the district’s fiscal management and have been supportive of its levies and bonds, including recent approval of a $116 million bond to fund a remodel of Lake Stevens High School and an early education center and new elementary school.

Lund demonstrated enthusiasm for continuing his work on the board and in serving the needs and interests of students, as well as a desire to monitor district finances and act responsibility on behalf of taxpayers. Voters should have confidence in reelecting Lund to a third full term.

District 3: Incumbent Mari Taylor is running unopposed. She has served on the board since 1999.

Nov. 5 election

The Snohomish County Elections Office will mail ballots to registered voters on Oct. 17; completed ballots must be returned to election office drop boxes distributed throughout the county or mailed and postmarked — no postage required — by Election Day, Nov. 5. Residents who are not registered to vote or need to change their address can do so up until Election Day. For more information on ballots, voter pamphlets, registering to vote or changing voter registration, go to snohomishcountywa.gov/3969/Voters.

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