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Vares, Diteman vie for MSD board position 5
MARYSVILLE The first contest in this years election cycle is a three-way run-off during the Aug. 21 primary for Marysville School Board seat number five.
Its a three-way with only two contestants, after incumbent Sherri Crenshaw filed to run for the seat but backed out. Crenshaw still wants to serve, while former Marysville City Councilwoman Lisa Vares and school volunteer Corinne Diteman are actively seeking the seat.
District five is the most southerly of the geographic areas represented by board members and covers the Sunnyside neighborhood and the residential neighborhoods east of the downtown Marysville commercial district.
Diteman is a mother of four, with two Marysville-Pilchuck High School alums, one attending M-P this fall and another elementary student. The 45-year-old was born in Spokane and graduated from Gonzaga University with bachelors degrees in history and political science and a law degree. She practiced law in eastern Washington for several years and is still a member of the Washington State Bar Association.
Married to a Boeing 787 program manager for 15 years, she has lived in Marysville for 12. She had considered seeking one of three appointments that came open last summer during a bizarre shuffling of members, but felt her husband was on the road too much to let her be a good mother and a director at the same time. Now that the Dreamliner is taking shape, Diteman hopes voters will give her the chance to serve on the board. She has never held an elected position before but is a frequent visitor to board meetings and school district information fairs, and has served on the districts boundary advisory, facilities and bond, and highly capable advisory committees..
At one time Diteman was an outspoken critic of the move to create smaller learning communities for the districts 3,800-plus high school students, but after writing to the administration and meeting with assistant superintendent Gail Miller, Diteman was convinced the district was going in the right direction. She wanted more community involvement, though, and vows to ensure that the board will properly oversee the conversion if she is elected.
Like just about every other school board member and candidate, Diteman thinks superintendent Larry Nyland has spun straw into gold by healing the wounds in the aftermath of the teachers strike in 2003. She said Nyland has worked very hard at getting out into the community, meeting people and visiting all the schools. Diteman said she was amazed at the effort the new leader put into three construction bond campaigns before voters finally approved the first one in 16 years, with a $118 million measure narrowly passing in February 2006.
Its such a huge effort, Diteman said. I wondered if his wife ever saw him.
She likes the direction the district is taking and after attending a groundbreaking ceremony she said it was particularly important to keep focused on improving the districts facilities needs. Diteman said she doesnt know very much about her opponents in particular but thinks students, parents and the schools will benefit when so many people are interested in running for the three open seats on the general election ballot this fall.
Im impressed that there are so many people signing up for a lot of work, Diteman said. To me its just a really good sign that people are interested and wanting to serve. I just see all these people that are interested in our district and our kids.
To contact Diteman, phone 360-653-8383 or email Diteman@hotmail.com.
Vares walks the halls and corridors of the Arlington School District five days a week as a commissioned police officer with the city of Arlington and now wants to make sure her two kids are safe in the Marysville schools they attend.
A single mother of a fourth-grader and a second-grader, Vares had trouble making enough time for the City Council, her family and 12-hour shifts as a cop, causing her to resign from the Council in November, 2005.
Now as a school resource officer the eight-hour, Monday to Friday shift will allow her to serve on the school board. She wants to focus on improving test scores and increasing security on school campuses.
I think the schools could do more against unwelcome visitors who are there for the wrong reasons, Vares said. Im concerned about test scores and security issues, safety issues within the schools.
A police officer for three years, the 37-year-old attended Washington State University, graduating with a bachelors degree in English literature. She was born in Albuquerque, N.M. and moved to Snohomish County when she was 11 years old, graduating from Snohomish High School.
She emphasized her previous experience with the Marysville City Council, Marysville Fire District board of directors and her service on the Snohomish County Developmental Disabilities Board. One of her children has some challenges and when she resigned from the Council Vares mentioned the extra time she needed to meet with teachers and counselors as a major task and priority for her as a single mom.
Her new beat covers all the schools in the Arlington district, but Vares said she spends most of her time at the high school.
I love it, its a fantastic job, Vares said. I get to interact with kids when they are in trouble and I get to interact with kids when they are not it trouble and thats a lot more fun.
Vares said that a lot of the stresses that kids have are the same that she had 20 years ago when she was in school but they have more access to illegal substances or legal prescription drugs, and hence bigger problems with substance abuse.
What they are going through is a lot the same, Vares said. I feel like Marysville could do more to combat issues like drug abuse with older members of the community.
And she makes it clear that no one in this race will be knocking Nyland. Hes done a good job for the district, got the construction bond passed and is leading in the right direction, according to Vares.
I think hes come a long way toward improving relations with teachers and the district, she said.
Vares said she didnt know anything about the other two people on the ballot.
I think that I can make a difference and I didnt take into account the other people, she said. Im sure they are great people.
Contact information for Lisa Vares: phone 425-691-8058 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.