MARYSVILLE — In the wake of Cindy Rebain’s Sept. 3 resignation from the Marysville School District Board of Directors, the remaining Board members interviewed three candidates for the vacant Director District Position 2 seat on Monday, Oct. 14.
“I’ve got six kids, with one more on the way,” said Jacob Davis, who’s already served as the president of the Cedarcrest Middle School PTSA.
Davis cited his contributions to reviving the Cedarcrest PTSA as evidence of his effective communication skills, and his work with foreign military members in the U.S. Navy after 9/11 as experience in dealing with diverse communities. He also touted his real estate career as affording him the flexibility to devote many hours to the Marysville School Board, and to break away for Board-related business at a moment’s notice.
“My whole family has grown up here since State Avenue was a dirt road,” said Davis, who promised to be punctual and act with integrity as a Board member. “I’d get together with the other Board members to benefit from their insights and their resources. I’ll do my due diligence. I’ll pull my weight and then some.”
Sandra Chavez, who’s worked with the parents and staff of Shoultes Elementary in the area of English Language Learners, likewise pledged to listen to school staff, parents, students and community members to arrive at her decisions.
“I would make my decisions to ensure that our students are provided the highest quality education possible,” said Chavez, who expressed her appreciation to her “very supportive family,” who have already agreed to assist in giving her the time to carry out the responsibilities of a Board member. “We’re helping to shape the future of children in the Marysville School District.”
When offered the opportunity to ask a question of the current Board members, Chavez inquired as to whether a Hispanic or African-American had ever served on the Board. While former Board President Sheri Crenshaw is African-American, none of the Board members could recall there being a Hispanic Board member.
“Diversity is not just about skin color, but about recognizing and respecting the differences between each of us,” Chavez said, in response to a question about her experience in working with diverse communities.
Deanna Muir, a stay-at-home-grandmother raising three grandchildren and one grand-nephew, described herself as someone, like Davis, with a vested interest in the Marysville School District’s educational programs.
“I want to see all of our students successful,” said Muir, who readily acknowledged the need for Board members to work together within proscribed regulations to help set policies that are in the best interests of students and staff alike. “Our job is to ensure that our students can achieve that success.”
Muir expects that plenty of challenges lie ahead for the Board, but she’s eager to lend her perspective to help surmount those obstacles.
“I’d bring my own opinions and experiences and knowledge to the Board, but I know the Board is more than any one individual member,” said Muir, a Tulalip Tribal member. “To create solutions, we need to listen to all sides fairly evenly, and weigh things out in the open. People won’t be 100 percent happy with what we do all the time.”
A broad-based steering committee, representing different constituencies across Marysville schools, has already begun meeting to review legal requirements, recommendations from the state school board association, and findings from interviews with school boards recognized for outstanding success. The appointed board member will be announced prior to Nov. 18.