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%.
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%.
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%.
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.