ESD 113 Capital Region Educational Service District

All candidates who provided a valid email address when they registered their campaign have been invited to participate.

If you don't see your district's candidates and would like them to answer these questions, feel free to email them the link below and cc office@artsedwashington.org. We're happy to add their responses. https://forms.gle/HPL5bJr7eKZWwXAo8

To find contact information, go to https://voter.votewa.gov/CandidateList.asp, choose your County and add the word "school" under District type.

Adna School District

Position Three

Daniel Holmes

Which of these arts did you have as a part of your own K-12 education?

Theater, Music, Media

How did the arts impact your education and life after high school?

Music helped give me self confidence and dedication.

Research has shown that arts education increases student engagement, helps close opportunity gaps, and reduces drop out rates, yet income, race, and geography continue to be barriers to access to the arts. How do you see yourself addressing fair access in your district?

I would identify specific issues and areas of potential growth and including those as part of a strategic plan for growth in the future. The school district has expanded faster than the facilities or programs offered.

If elected, which of these strategies would you consider to support arts education in your district?

  • Research current arts program and assess needs at district buildings
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools, My main goal is to create a strategic plan for the district to guide it into the future. I would like that strategic plan to cover all potential and realized needs.

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Mary M Knight School District

Position Two

Shawn Donnelly

Which of these arts did you have as a part of your own K-12 education?

Visual Arts, Media

How did the arts impact your education and life after high school?

I have worked as a professional photographer and I am current employed as Career Tech Educator teaching photography and yearbook.

Research has shown that arts education increases student engagement, helps close opportunity gaps, and reduces drop out rates, yet income, race, and geography continue to be barriers to access to the arts. How do you see yourself addressing fair access in your district?

Our district is a high poverty district and we are doing everything fiscally possible to expand our outreach to all students and their families. I believe that equal access to education is fundamental to a successful life after high school and beyond. While our district is small, we are actively working to create meaningful Career Tech Education courses that well serves our diverse, but small rural community.

If elected, which of these strategies would you consider to support arts education in your district?

  • Research current arts program and assess needs at district buildings
  • Develop or update a district level arts plan
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools

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North Thurston Public School

Position Two

Pamela Johnson

Which of these arts did you have as a part of your own K-12 education?

Visual Arts, Music

How did the arts impact your education and life after high school?

Arts continues to impact me as I value what I learned and continue to learn as the arts have taken on different forms with technology. Music has been a huge part of my family’s life and its cultivation is what is grounding me even as Arts is often one of the first program deleted from the schools. Art is needed and necessary even more so now than ever as it helps our students self identified themselves.

Research has shown that arts education increases student engagement, helps close opportunity gaps, and reduces drop out rates, yet income, race, and geography continue to be barriers to access to the arts. How do you see yourself addressing fair access in your district?

One of the things that I see is that diversity, inclusioness and equity is at the forefront of this program especially in marginalized communities where opportunities are limited or/and not available. It is important that Art is being used in a culturally responsive setting so that our students are given opportunities to learn about each other through the various medium of art.

If elected, which of these strategies would you consider to support arts education in your district?

  • Research current arts program and assess needs at district buildings
  • Develop or update a district level arts plan
  • Support arts inclusion professional development opportunities, Making the Art program culturally responsive and sustaining so that it is inclusive and equitable

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Olympia School District

Position Five

Don Mitchell

Which of these arts did you have as a part of your own K-12 education?

Music, Theater, Media

How did the arts impact your education and life after high school?

Participation in music and graphic arts gave me a greater appreciation for the creative arts, and an understanding of how diverse influences can be harmoniously melded.

Research has shown that arts education increases student engagement, helps close opportunity gaps, and reduces drop out rates, yet income, race, and geography continue to be barriers to access to the arts. How do you see yourself addressing fair access in your district?

We would first need to assess what the specific barriers are, then effectively address them. For example, if money for an instrument is the challenge, exploring using school funds to acquire instruments that can be loaned, or scholarships for students with need to be able to buy an instrument. Likewise, if transportation is an issue, exploring using supplemental school bus service if practice and/or performance require travel/time beyond what is normally available for students.

If elected, which of these strategies would you consider to support arts education in your district?

  • Research current arts program and assess needs at district buildings
  • Develop or update a district level arts plan
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability

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Shelton School District

Position Three

Matthew Welander

Which of these arts did you have as a part of your own K-12 education?

Theater, Visual Arts, Music

How did the arts impact your education and life after high school?

Drama was probably had the largest impact. As a firefighter/paramedic and now fire chief, my ability to speak to the public in all settings has helped me a ton. I still use some of the skills that I developed in set design every day.

Research has shown that arts education increases student engagement, helps close opportunity gaps, and reduces drop out rates, yet income, race, and geography continue to be barriers to access to the arts. How do you see yourself addressing fair access in your district?

I don’t really know without understanding why the art programs have suffered so much in recent history. As a kid we usually had a pretty good band, and we put on spring musicals as well as 5 or 6 plays throughout the year.

If elected, which of these strategies would you consider to support arts education in your district?

  • Research current arts program and assess needs at district buildings
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability

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