A candidate for Spokane School Board, position 5, Spokane Public Schools in the 2017 Washington General Election, Nov. 7
Party: No party
Education: Graduated from Lewis & Clark High School in 1990. BS in industrial engineering from University of Washington. MBA and a master’s in engineering management from Northwestern University.
Political experience: Spokane Public Schools board since March 2017.
Work experience: Industrial engineer at Micron Technology (1994-97), management consultant at PRTM, and independent consultant (2005-2012). Currently vice president of strategic planning at CHAS Health.
Family: Married to Deborah Wiser since 2001. Two daughters ages 10 and 13. Both are students in Spokane Public Schools.
Campaign contributors: Has raised about $11,000, including $2,000 from the Washington Education Association and smaller donations from FUSE Washington, Spokane City Council President Ben Stuckart, state Rep. Marcus Riccelli, Spokane School Board Chairwoman Deana Brower and Spokane School Board Vice Chairwoman Sue Chapin.
Top priorities as a school board candidate: “The combination of enrollment growth and class size reduction will necessitate the most significant changes for SPS in the next decade. The board recently approved the grade configuration committee’s recommendation to shift to a 6-8 middle school. Work leading up to this recommendation was done with meaningful community input. To implement these recommendations while lowering class size and accommodating increased enrollment, a combination of school boundary changes, remodeling, and new schools will be needed. Given the high investments required and major impact to students, families, and staff, we need strong community input that informs a transparent decision making process.”
“My next priority is monitoring the work in progress to reduce rates (of) disproportionate discipline and improve school climate, especially students of color and those with individualized educational plans. It is clear that the district must invest more in staff training and resources to fully implement restorative practices while ensuring a safe environment for all students and staff.”
“Finally, I want to prioritize improving educational outcomes and experience for all students. While graduation rates and standardized test scores are important indicators, they are not sufficient. Our community’s goals for our students need to reflect that we want to educate students who become free thinkers, know how hard work informs success, find a passion, engage with their community, experience the joy of learning, and are prepared for the next steps in a productive and satisfying life. I feel that by expanding our core goals for students, we can create better outcomes for more students, and reduce historically prevalent achievement gaps in the process.”
Incumbent school board member Mike Wiser beat challenger Jennifer Thomas in Spokane’s only contested board race.
Whoever becomes Spokane Public Schools newest board member will inherit a slough of thorny and difficult questions. And while both candidates running for that honor have similar goals and concerns, their approach and experiences differ.
With complicated, potentially contentious decisions on horizon, four vie for Spokane schools board seat
Spokane’s newest board member will inherit a slough of thorny and potentially contentious decisions in November.