u 2013 Aug. 6 Primary

Heidi Gillingham

A candidate for East Valley School District Director 3, East Valley School District in the 2013 Aug. 6 Primary

Age: 46City: Spokane Valley, WA

Occupation: Community Volunteer

On this race: In response to the question, “What do you view as the biggest issue that your constituency faces in the coming years and how would you solve or address it?”

I believe the biggest issue in our district is funding, just as it is in most other public school districts. There are no short or easy answers to this problem. It is a complicated web of general budget, transportation budget, levy dollars, voted debt, non-voted debt, grants, and union contractual obligations….the list goes on. Funding is tight, State and Federal mandates for testing, reporting, and other strings attached to our allotted education dollars continue to increase, which is a frustration for teachers as well as boards, administration and parents.

My approach: (1.) Provide the best education that we can with what we have.( 2.) Focus on solutions. (3.) Strive to provide a variety of high quality, meaningful educational opportunities. 4.) Use the question, “what is best for kids?” as a basis to evaluate district decisions. 5.) Stay positive.

The passing of a building bond would definitely make decisions easier, and it would ensure that general funds can be used for academics rather than repairs on our old buildings. For over 16 years the voters of this district have chosen not to invest in the physical needs of the district. We currently have no voted debt, and EV has one of the lowest tax rates of any district around. Even though the budget is tight, we have many accomplishments to be proud of. East Valley employees have not lost their jobs, our audits have been clean, we have maintained and increased academic options such as advanced placement classes, college in the high school, Planned Enrichment Program, online classes, and home link classes. Our art, band, music, and orchestra programs all win awards annually. We have the largest chapter of “Washington Drug Free Youth” in the State. Our school sports programs start as early as 4th grade and High school sports are not pay to play like surrounding schools. Most importantly, our academic statistics have improved. East Valley’s High school graduation rates have gone from the 70%’s to the 90%’s over the last 4 years. Our schools are also winning State Awards for academic improvement. Unfortunately, at some point the financial burden of maintaining old buildings will adversely affect our ability to provide quality educational programs. I believe that strong schools are a sign of a strong community, and it would be great for East Valley patrons to have their physical buildings match the efficiencies and high quality of our academic programs.

If elected I will continue to make tough decisions and work hard to advocate for our students, our district, and our community.

Currently a board member in district 3.

Contact information


Last updated: Aug. 20, 1:21 p.m. Election results

Heidi Gillingham 1,060 46.10%
Justin Voelker 706 30.70%
Marvin T. Moore 533 23.20%
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