Letters to the editor | Oct. 26 edition

Readers write in about the school board race.


Vote Martha Woodard for school board

Both the teachers’ union (VEA) and the support personnel union (VESP) for the district are endorsing Martha Woodard for school board position #3. Martha taught for over 30 years in our district. She was involved in union leadership for many years. She has bargained contracts.

In all these things she was known to be smart, ethical, pragmatic and informed. Martha is not someone who moves in lock step with any group. She gathers information, listens to people and does what is right to the best of her ability. She is also retired and will be able to dedicate a lot of time to this work.

We are super excited about the possibility of having someone on the board who has experienced the impact of board decisions on our students and staff in the district, and someone who knows the depth of what is involved in running schools well. Martha will make sure that the decisions made will be the best possible for students and staff.

We urge you to vote for Martha Woodard to add this very important, well known and trusted voice to the process.

Lisa Miller, Teacher,

Vice President VEA

Mecky Chapelka, Paraeducator,

Co-President VESP

Angela, Kaycie and Juniper will lead meaningful change

We have a rare opportunity to elect a new school board majority on Vashon — qualified candidates that have already made important commitments to reverse the district’s record of recent failure and to substantially improve the performance of our school district.

Please join with me in voting for Angela Marshall, Kaycie Alanis, and Juniper Rogneby to bring essential leadership strength and integrity to our school board and top administration. These three candidates, also parents in our district, deeply understand our current challenges and are equipped to lead changes to restore community support and trust.

They will invite authentic community input and discussion regarding the many issues facing our district and will make decisions with transparency in public meetings. They will speak honestly of the district’s many challenges, such as deep concerns about student safety, poor fiscal planning/management, ineffective communication, declining enrollment, and poor retention of key administrators.

They will meaningfully address social issues, such as appropriate staff behavior and student safety, and restore a real commitment to equity and opportunity for all students. They will be rigorous in their responsibility for setting accountabilities and conducting regular supervision and evaluation of the superintendent.

This is a rare opportunity to elect a capable, responsive, and effective school board. This is our opportunity to reverse a failing trend, constant negative press, and to restore a pathway of success and pride in our schools. Please vote for Angela, Kaycie and Juniper.

Michael Soltman, former Vashon Island School District Superintendent (2009 — 2018)

Why I’m running

My name is Kaycie Alanis and I’m running for VISD school board position #2.

I‘ve lived on Vashon over 12 years with my husband and two kids. I have worked for the welfare of youth most of my adult life, including as a teacher, a teaching artist, an arts administrator in youth programming, and as a child and adolescent mental health counselor.

I have been a substitute in Vashon public schools, and volunteered in both my kids’ classrooms every year. I’ve served on the board of three island organizations, and have volunteered with many more.

My kids are no longer in Vashon public schools — my daughter is a sixth grader at Harbor School, and my son is a sophomore in Tacoma Public Schools at the Science and Math Institute. Someone recently asked me why I am running for school board, if neither of my kids are in the district anymore.

First and foremost, it’s because every child in our community is our collective responsibility. Whether and how they’re cared for, fed, housed, and educated should matter to each of us, not just because they will become the engaged citizens of the next generation, but because when the most marginalized of our students are cared for and thriving, our whole community will succeed right now, in real time.

My years of experience working with the district through my previous role with Vashon Artists in Schools and also as a parent taught me that we have a long way to go to meet our social imperatives and the district mission.

My priorities on the board will be to correct:

  • The district culture that allows a blind eye to be turned when students and families are reporting predatory behavior.
  • The thoughtful and systematic dismantling of special needs programming.
  • The board culture that has been molded to exclude healthy checks and balances.
  • The barriers that have been erected between the school board and the community that elected them.

Finally, I am endorsing Angela Marshall for seat #3. See tinyurl.com/2hrz45wd to see the list of our neighbors who agree.

Vote Angela Marshall for school board

I’m writing this letter in support of Angela Marshall’s candidacy for Seat #3 on the Vashon School Board.

Angela has the skills and experience to provide excellent guidance and oversight for Vashon Schools. Her contracting and budget expertise will bring a new and much needed ability for the board to better participate and oversee district financial decisions and her many years as a committed union member and leader will bring a necessary understanding of labor issues.

As a member, shop steward and Union representative for the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers from 2008 to 2017 Angela has worked hard for her fellow members and as a delegate to and Vice- President of the Washington State Labor Council has been deeply involved in leadership and decision making.

On the management side, Angela has worked in the King Co. Labor Relations Office working with the Teamsters, the SEIU and many other unions.

I believe that this broad and deep experience along with her financial and budgetary skills make her an ideal candidate for Vashon’s school board.

Mark Graham