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School board swears in new, returning members

From left, Marysville School Board members Chris Nation, Mariana Maksimos and Bruce Larson recite the oath of office on Dec. 9. - Kirk Boxleitner
From left, Marysville School Board members Chris Nation, Mariana Maksimos and Bruce Larson recite the oath of office on Dec. 9.
— image credit: Kirk Boxleitner

MARYSVILLE — The Marysville School District Board of Directors swore in two new members, alongside a returning member, before they reshuffled their positions in time to conduct the rest of their Dec. 9 meeting.

MSD Superintendent Dr. Becky Berg swore in returning District Director 1 Chris Nation alongside new District Director 2 Mariana Maksimos and District Director 4 Bruce Larson. Maksimos was officially appointed to the Board that evening, after a selection process that began on Sept. 1, while Nation and Larson both ran unopposed for their seats in the Nov. 5 general election.

The Board members praised all the candidates who applied and submitted to interviews by the Board during a series of open meetings, while Berg touted the civic-mindedness of all the Board members she swore in that evening.

“The importance of what they’ve chosen to do cannot be overstated,” Berg said. “They’re stepping up on behalf of all the children in this community.”

Berg then briefly presided over the Board meeting before the Board members themselves nominated and approved new officers. Dr. Tom Albright become the new Board president, while former Board president Chris Nation became vice president. Pete Lundberg took over Albright’s former position as the Board’s legislative representative.

“As we make this transition, we do so with a significantly changed leadership team,” Albright said. “Everything is new.”

Although Larson’s three children are all grown, with the youngest just recently turning 30 years old, all three of them were educated entirely by the Marysville School District, so even though Larson doesn’t have any more children attending Marysville schools now, he sees it as his duty to help the school district that did so much for his own children.

“This is all funded by tax dollars, except for what we get in donations, so we need to be able to deliver the best education possible for the resources that we have,” Larson said.

Larson acknowledged that the nature of education itself has evolved dramatically, not only since he’d attended school, but also since his children had attended school, but that’s just made him more determined to meet the future needs of today’s students.

“I’ve attended School Board meetings before, but the shoe was on the other foot that Monday night,” Larson said of his first Board meeting as a Board member. “What goes on in those meetings is very important to the community as a whole, and everyone who’s involved in the process takes it very seriously.”

Given the relatively low attendance of School Board meetings by members of the outside community, Larson believes that a relatively small percentage of the community fully understands the issues facing the district, which is one reason why he hopes to foster more community involvement, beyond participation in bond and levy campaigns.

Maksimos’ two children are still in the school district — one at Marysville Middle School, and the other in his last year at Shoultes Elementary — and her involvement in the district grew out of checking up on their progress on an almost daily basis.

“I help out in the classrooms, off and on, and I see how they’re doing,” Maksimos said. “I’ve heard about the problems that other kids are having, and I’ve felt so bad. We need to learn about these children’s lives, and see what we can do to help them get better futures.”

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