NPI's Cascadia Advocate

Offering commentary and analysis from Washington, Oregon, and Idaho, The Cascadia Advocate is the Northwest Progressive Institute's unconventional perspective on world, national, and local politics.

Tuesday, November 2nd, 2021

Rounding up the initial returns in key 2021 Central Puget Sound school board races

After a long stretch of at-home learn­ing and remote teach­ing due to the coro­n­avirus pan­dem­ic, this year’s school board races through­out King Coun­ty gave vot­ers the oppor­tu­ni­ty to decide who should have respon­si­bil­i­ty for over­see­ing the admin­is­tra­tion of many of the state’s biggest school dis­tricts, includ­ing Seat­tle, Belle­vue, Kent, and Lake Washington.

Seattle Public Schools (District #1)

In ini­tial returns for Direc­tor Dis­trict No. 4, Vivian Song Maritz has 67% of the vote, while Lau­ra Marie Rivera has 31%.

Song Maritz led in the elim­i­na­tion round and has been the clear fron­trun­ner in this con­test with a ten point lead over Rivera in NPI’s polling.

In ini­tial returns for Direc­tor Dis­trict No. 5, Michelle Sar­ju has 82% of the vote, while Dan Hard­er has 17%. Sar­ju also led NPI’s polling last month.

Sar­ju wants to address inequities in the Seat­tle School Dis­trict and has pledged to bet­ter serve Black stu­dents and stu­dents of color.

In ini­tial returns for Direc­tor Dis­trict No. 7, Gen­e­sis Williamson has 7% of the vote, while Bran­don K. Hersey, who is run­ning to retain his seat, has 91%.

Williamson has not been active­ly cam­paign­ing, set­ting the stage for a lop­sided result. Like Sar­ju and Song Maritz, Hersey led in NPI’s polling last month.

Federal Way Schools (District #210)

In ini­tial returns for Direc­tor Dis­trict No. 1, Quentin Mor­ris has 51% of the vote, while Tiffany LaFontaine has 48%. Not many votes sep­a­rate the candidates.

Mor­ris cam­paigned on increas­ing trans­paren­cy and focus­ing on skills stu­dents can use after high school. LaFontaine advo­cat­ed for a focus on ear­ly child­hood edu­ca­tion and bet­ter access to technology.

In ini­tial returns for Direc­tor Dis­trict No. 4, Trudy Davis has 53% of the vote, while Jim Stor­vick has 45%. Davis cam­paigned on increas­ing grad­u­a­tion rates and bet­ter learn­ing envi­ron­ments. She wants to work towards the goal of hav­ing schools part­ner with com­mu­ni­ty orga­ni­za­tions and leg­is­la­tors. Stor­vick made trans­paren­cy and account­abil­i­ty the themes of his campaign.

Mercer Island Schools (District #400)

For Direc­tor Dis­trict No. 2, Bri­an Gian­ni­ni Upton has 48% of the vote, and Dan Glowitz has 50%. Glowitz hopes to bring his legal edu­ca­tion to the board in order to pro­mote a well-round­ed edu­ca­tion for all stu­dents. Upton is run­ning on a plat­form of rig­or­ous learn­ing and inclu­sive learning.

In ini­tial returns for Direc­tor Dis­trict No. 4, Deb­o­rah Lurie has 63% of the vote, while Lacey Aak­er has 36%. Lurie, an attor­ney for the King Coun­ty Depart­ment of Pub­lic Defense, hopes to improve equi­ty in education.

She believes her past twen­ty-two years in the legal sys­tem serv­ing chil­dren and fam­i­lies has allowed her to become an adept lis­ten­er and prob­lem solver.

Aak­er acknowl­edged the set­backs caused by COVID-19 dur­ing her cam­paign and believes that school dis­tricts need to fos­ter greater com­mu­ni­ty dialogue.

Bellevue Schools (District #405)

For Direc­tor Dis­trict No. 3, Joyce Shui has 67% of the vote, while Faye Yang has 32%. Shui, an attor­ney, stressed the need for equi­ty and empa­thy through­out her cam­paign. Shui is endorsed by sev­er­al state sen­a­tors as well as the Women’s Polit­i­cal Cau­cus, Belle­vue Edu­ca­tion Asso­ci­a­tion, and King Coun­ty Democrats.

Yang, a med­ical doc­tor, argued that the Belle­vue School Dis­trict failed to prop­er­ly sup­port stu­dents dur­ing the pandemic.

In ini­tial returns for Direc­tor Dis­trict No. 5 in Belle­vue School Dis­trict, Jane Aras has 63% of the vote and Gregg Smith has 36%.

Aras, who pre­vailed in the August Top Two elec­tion and has strong sup­port from pro­gres­sives and Democ­rats, espous­es a data dri­ven approach to edu­ca­tion to address men­tal health and emo­tion­al needs. Smith says he wants new lead­er­ship, direc­tion and solu­tions for the Belle­vue School District.

Issaquah Schools (District #411)

In Direc­tor Dis­trict No. 2, Robin Poe has 35% of the vote, while Marnie J. Mar­al­do has 63%. A tech pro­fes­sion­al, Poe wants schools to focus on ratio­nal and objec­tive under­stand­ing while focus­ing on learn­ing cen­tered on the nat­ur­al world.

Mar­al­do advo­cat­ed for a return to in-per­son learn­ing fol­low­ing the ear­ly waves of the pan­dem­ic and a focus on recov­ery and restoration.

In ini­tial returns for Direc­tor Dis­trict No. 4, chal­lenger Wendy Ghio­ra has 52% of the vote, while incum­bent Syd­ney Mullings has 47%.

Mullings was elect­ed to the school board in 2019.

If re-elect­ed, Mullings, says she will pri­or­i­tize facil­i­ties that serve all stu­dents through envi­ron­men­tal­ly sus­tain­able strate­gies. Ghio­ra is a retired pub­lic school prin­ci­pal who advo­cates for find­ing the key to stu­dents’ suc­cess. She says she believes in the impor­tance of cre­ative and per­form­ing arts in education.

Lake Washington (District #414)

In ini­tial returns for Direc­tor Dis­trict No. 3 in Lake Wash­ing­ton School Dis­trict 414, Leah Choi has 53% of the vote, while Cas­san­dra Sage has 45%.

Sage, the incum­bent, was first elect­ed four years ago and has a his­to­ry of involve­ment in Repub­li­can and right wing caus­es. Choi, the chal­lenger, cam­paigned with the sup­port of pro­gres­sive and Demo­c­ra­t­ic orga­ni­za­tions and embraces ideas like pro­vid­ing all stu­dents with envi­ron­men­tal sci­ence education.

In ini­tial returns for Direc­tor Dis­trict No. 4, chal­lenger Vishal Mis­ri has 39% of the vote, while incum­bent Mark W. Stu­art has 59%.

Mis­ri, a busi­ness leader at Ama­zon Web Ser­vices, focused on four areas: equi­ty and inclu­sion, men­tal well­ness, school infra­struc­ture, and teacher support.

Stu­art told vot­ers he wants all stu­dents to feel they have a home with­in their school. He ran on a plat­form of increased men­tal health aware­ness and inclusion.

Kent Schools (District #415)

In ini­tial returns for Direc­tor Dis­trict No. 4 in Kent School Dis­trict, Awale Farah has 58% of the vote, while Bradley Ken­ning has 41%.

In ini­tial returns for Direc­tor Dis­trict No. 5 in Kent School Dis­trict 415, Tim Clark has 60% of the vote, while Sara Franklin has 38%.

Clark’s plat­form empha­sized tech­no­log­i­cal access and edu­ca­tion. Franklin stressed improv­ing equi­ty and and con­duct­ing a robust search for a new superintendent.

Northshore Schools (District #417)

The Northshore School Dis­trict, locat­ed in the Ken­more-Both­ell area, cross­es coun­ty lines, so it’s nec­es­sary to look at returns from both King Coun­ty Elec­tions and Sno­homish Coun­ty Elec­tions to get the com­plete picture.

In ini­tial returns for Direc­tor Dis­trict No. 1, Jacque­line McGour­ty has 59% of the vote in the King Coun­ty por­tion of the dis­trict, while Eliz­a­beth Crow­ley has 40%.

In the Sno­homish por­tion, McGour­ty has a small­er lead, with 51.71% to Crow­ley’s 47.81%. With major­i­ty sup­port in both por­tions, how­ev­er, she’s on track for vic­to­ry. In the dis­trict as a whole, McGour­ty has 56.5% and Crow­ley has 43.14%.

See com­bined results here.

McGour­ty is the incum­bent and hopes to con­tin­ue her work in strength­en­ing child­care, men­tal health sup­port, and safety.

Crow­ley ran on a plat­form of men­tal health advo­ca­cy. She says she wants to improve con­nec­tions among schools, com­mu­ni­ty, and the board.

In ini­tial returns for Direc­tor Dis­trict No. 4, Sandy R. Hayes has 58% of the vote in the King Coun­ty por­tion of the dis­trict, while Chris Roberdeau has 41%.

Hayes also leads in the Sno­homish por­tion, with 53.41% to Roberdeau’s 46.25%.

In the dis­trict as a whole, Hayes has 56.53% and Roberdeau has 43.18%.

See com­bined results here.

In ini­tial returns for Direc­tor Dis­trict No. 5, Amy Cast has 51% of the vote in the King Coun­ty por­tion of the dis­trict, while Amy Felt has 47%.

In the Sno­homish por­tion, Felt is ahead with 51.63% and Cast has 47.91%.

In the dis­trict as a whole, Cast has a tiny lead: 50.18% to Felt’s 49.47%.

See com­bined results here.

Cast has been serv­ing on the Northshore School Board for eight years and hopes to con­tin­ue find­ing resources, part­ner­ships, and pro­grams to enhance edu­ca­tion. Felt hopes to sit down with fam­i­lies and teach­ers to solve prob­lems and increase open and hon­est com­mu­ni­ca­tion. As a pre­vi­ous assis­tant state attor­ney gen­er­al she act­ed as a children’s advo­cate in cus­tody disputes.

Updated numbers will be available tomorrow afternoon

King Coun­ty and oth­er coun­ties will release new tab­u­la­tions for all of these posi­tions tomor­row after­noon. King Coun­ty races can be viewed here, Sno­homish Coun­ty races here, and Pierce Coun­ty races here.

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