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Marysville School Board District 3 race candidates answer questions
MARYSVILLE — With the deadline to mail in primary ballots on Aug. 16, The Marysville Globe asked the four candidates for the Marysville School District Board Director 3 race two questions. The following are their answers. Darci Becker and Rod Rieger did not submit responses.
The only local races to appear on the primary ballot are those with three or more candidates. Local races with only one or two candidates will appear on the general election ballot in November.
1. Which of your professional and personal experiences and skills do you believe make you most qualified to serve on the board?
Michael Hansen: My professional life is business management. I manage budgets, contracts and a large staff of union and non-union employees and managers. With the downturn in the economy I have had to be creative and find the savings to make our company be able to weather the storm. I bring these skills and the ability to look impartially at spending and set priorities based upon need rather than want.
In my personal life I have a wife that is a school teacher and children in every level of the Marysville schools. I have been a volunteer in the classrooms for many years and have seen the issues that make it tough for teachers to make the progress we expect. Most importantly, however, I would say that I care deeply about the community I have lived in for the past 14 years and the success of my children will be tied to Marysville schools for the next 15 years.
Pete Lundberg: I believe that my lifetime career in education qualifies me to be a solid school board candidate. I've been a classroom teacher, student and class advisor, athletic director, school activity coordinator, head high school coach, assistant principal and principal. I've studied education and it's academic and business improvements for 38 years. I have been responsible for over a million dollars in that time, and have a reputation as being fiscally conservative. My colleagues and the state acknowledged that body of work by choosing me as the Middle Level Administrator of the Year for Washington in 2007. This award was weighted on academic achievement, collaboration and community stewardship. I have always payed special attention to the business side of education, and have a feel for how and where money should be spent. I will be a viable school board member from day one.
2. What would be your priorities for funding with a limited school district budget? Which programs and/or positions would always be funded, and which ones would you be willing to trim partially or cut entirely?
Hansen: Money in the classroom is job no. 1. The mission of schools is to educate the students and that should take priority over all other needs. Failing to make annual yearly progress results in increased costs, I believe we need to focus on how to improve the classroom to prevent ongoing future budget issues. Additionally, we need to look at all of the business the school district does and make sure it is as cost effective as it can be. In terms of cuts, I would look to areas outside the classroom and make sure we are competitively bidding all non-educational work. I strongly believe that the extra-curricular programs provide incentive to students so I would look to more creative ways to help fund these so we can be sure they continue such as sponsorships.
Lundberg: Priorities in school funding must support teaching and learning. Since all aspects of a school district support teaching and learning, cuts must come from those areas that have the least impact on classroom education. On the operations side, care must be taken to study where responsibility for support can be accommodated by more than one department, then move to consolidate. We must be sure to fund legal contracts with families, such as those with IEPs. Everyone must learn to do the job with less. Since the majority of school funding goes to salaries, all levels of school district personnel must sacrifice so that class size can remain as small, giving teachers the best chance to deliver quality instruction and work with individuals. Children must be the priority.
For more information about all of the candidates, check out the Snohomish County Local Voters’ Pamphlet.