ESD 121 Puget Sound 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.

Auburn School District

Position Three

Dirk Dearinger

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?

I wanted to play Tenor Sax in a jazz band. I loved playing my instrument in school

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 am going to make myself available to the parents and community and get the pulse of what they want best for our students. I hope the Auburn District makes more use of their Performing Arts Center and more programs like the dancing group who travels and performes at Disneyland every 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
  • Develop or update a district level arts plan
  • Support arts inclusion professional development opportunities
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers
  • Create a local arts education task force
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability
  • Develop or expand district support for teaching artist residencies, Make Auburn district a leader in the Puget Sound region for school districts for offering arts opportunities for students

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Bellevue School District

Position Three

Joyce Shui

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

Music, Dance, Visual Arts, Theater

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

The arts impact me every single day. I love music, theater, marching bands, singing, instruments. I have tried to instill love for music kids. One was in a national level band. Two played music in college. The high school and middle school kids also practice daily. I believe that children and people who are engaged in the arts are able to help make the world a better place by sharing positivity and passion with others. I run a small business teaching kids second languages. Drawing, music, and even body movement are very intentionally a part of how The Purple School teaches language.

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 like to set up more partnerships and mentorships to try to increase access and interest across all demographics.

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
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers
  • Create a local arts education task force
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability
  • Develop or expand district support for teaching artist residencies

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Enumclaw School District

Position Five

Paul Fisher

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?

I believe exposure to the arts helped me discover and appreciate the creative aspects of life.

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?

There should be no barriers to student’s access to the arts. If students desires to participate in the arts, the district should make every effort to provide broad access.

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

  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers

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Federal Way School District

Position One

Tiffany LaFontaine

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

Music, Theater, Visual Arts

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

The theater program I was in during high school gave me a self confidence and ability to interact with people that I use to this 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?

We have multiple schools in our district that are STEAM schools but focus on everything except the arts. I would encourage our district to hire permanent art teachers for every school and make after school programs available for dance and theater for those schools that do not include those areas in their curriculum.

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
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers
  • Create a local arts education task force
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability
  • Develop or expand district support for teaching artist residencies
  • Work with local companies to bring art to the schools, such as graphic designers. Include local tribal members in the implementation of art and storytelling programs in the district.

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Fife School District

Position Four

Cheryl Reid-Simons

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

Theater, Music, Dance, Media , Visual Arts

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

It enriched every aspect of my life, giving me a lens to view the human experience and to express myself.

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?

Making arts part of the daily curriculum-reducing transportation needs and eliminating costs often associated with arts as extracurricular.

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
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers
  • Create a local arts education task force
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability
  • Develop or expand district support for teaching artist residencies

Position Five

Timothy Hammond

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

Theater

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

I was a professional wrestler for a while and was able to use my theater skills in that.

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?

Arts are for everyone. I want to ensure everyone has property access to arts and to different types of arts.

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
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers
  • Create a local arts education task force
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability
  • Develop or expand district support for teaching artist residencies

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Franklin Pierce School District

Position Three

Shawn Durnen

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

Dance, Media , Music

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

The arts helped me not only cultivate a deeper appreciation for the amazing diversity that is the several categories of self expression. Really more then anything it opened up social outlets, gave me personality and allowed me to flourish both emotionally and professionally, creating morale and welfare for my friends, colleagues and staff alike, it also helped me bridge the gap between my love of music and my children’s. The arts helped in every aspect of my life.

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?

As stated in my campaign, my goal is to close the gap and address the barriers of access to supports, education, future employment and post secondary options for students of all backgrounds. To long we have failed to address these inequality?s and this should be a primary goal to close those gaps while enriching and educating our young people.

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
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability

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Highline School District

Position Two

Jennifer Fichamba

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

Media , Theater, Dance

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

Being in theater saved me in high school! It made a huge impact on me - actually my theater teacher was who inspired me and encouraged me throughout high school. I also danced at a local ballet school and by dance instructor taught me early on the importance of dedication and putting full effort into my craft.

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?

As a person who was very active in the arts as a young person I will be a huge advocate of not just maintaining but increasing my he arts. The arts enforces reading, language and math skills. It helps keep young people engaged in school.

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 arts inclusion professional development opportunities
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Create a local arts education task force

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Kent School District

Position One

Joseph (Joe) Bento

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

Theater, Media

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

I went to a high school in a rural town in southern Idaho. We didn’t have much but I participated in Yearbook (as a class) and in Theater (as an after school activity). I participated in both theater and Yearbook for all of high school. Yearbook was a way for me to practice photography layout (the Non Digital way), planning, organization, and project management. I think a lot of my organizational skills came from deadlines from yearbook class. I had an amazing advisor that let me use my strengths. Theater taught me to look into myself to find my own strength. I learned how to project my voice, public speaking, and how to be a leader. When I went to college, I thought I was going to be a theater major until I found my passion in education. Both activities helped guide me to where I am today. I couldn’t be the teacher I am today without the skills in my arts education.

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?

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
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability
  • I don't know if Kent has an arts ed task force. It may be more specific than that, but I am open to looking into it. I also don't know about whether kent has a teaching artist residency program or not, but I am happy to explore.

Position Four

Awale Farah

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

Music, Theater, Visual Arts, Dance

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

It made me more well rounded citizen

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?

Equity in education is top priority for me. Moreover, it is the benefit for society to make sure the future leaders have the knowledge to lead.

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
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers
  • Create a local arts education task force
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability
  • Develop or expand district support for teaching artist residencies

Position Five

Sara Franklin

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

Music, Visual Arts

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

Being exposed to the arts in school allowed me to feel creative even in small ways. I may not have been the best or most creative, but I felt confident to try something new and have fun doing it. Those experiences shaped me not to limit my goals or dreams as an adult.

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?

Hiring, supporting and retaining art teaching staff that is diverse, culturally vibrant and creative. Advocate for appropriate and sustainable funding to expand art education and continue to build community partnerships.

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
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers
  • Create a local arts education task force
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability
  • Develop or expand district support for teaching artist residencies

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Lake Washington School District

Position Three

Cassandra Sage

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

Music, Visual Arts, Dance

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

It wasn’t called Social Emotional Learning back then, but my K-12 arts experience helped me relate to others, reflect on my emotions and learn more about myself. Art calms, energizes, focuses, educates, heals and much more. I have more than a decade of experience as a PTSA art docent in our schools and am involved in the Kirkland Arts Center “Make Your Mark” after school arts program. http://www.kirklandartscenter.org/mym/arts

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?

As legislative representative for the LWSD board, I meet regularly with local, state and federal officials to advocate for student needs. Every Friday I meet with school board members in BSD, NSD, ISD and MISD. Combined we are twice the size of Seattle and represent about 10% of the states students. Working together we have a much bigger impact than separately. One of the things I recognized in March of 2020 when school buildings closed, was the immeadiate need for students to express their emotions during the isolation of remote learning. To that end I assisted Kirkland Arts Center in expanding the Make Your Mark art program pilot in LWSD. Low income students are encouraged to participate at no cost. All students in K-12 have a district issued laptop, giving them free access to enrichment classes/activites. See video for what the KAC program looked like pre-pandemic: https://youtu.be/_TpnJhIu6yY

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

  • I support all the above and have worked on many of these strategies directly. Feel free to call me to discuss the authority a school board director has in each category and what changes need to be made at the state level to more fully support the arts.

Leah Choi

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?

Exposure to the arts allowed me to develop my creativity and create a space where I could explore ideas through non-traditional pathways. It really helped my critical thinking skills evolve because I was able to see things differently than a lot of my peers. Arts were always a big part of my self-care after high school as well. A way for me to recover from stressful moments in my life and enjoy the process of creating something just for myself.

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 believe the benefits of arts education is overlooked in most communities and a crucial step in changing this mentality starts with communication and education at the community level so that there is adequate support for arts programs. We are fortunate to have some amazing resources in our community that we can lean on for guidance in creating a robust arts plan, and creating a task force to address any equity gaps in arts education is crucial.

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
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers
  • Create a local arts education task force
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability
  • Develop or expand district support for teaching artist residencies

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Northshore School District

Position One

Jacqueline McGourty

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

Music, Visual Arts

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

As a budding artist who eventually became a scientist, I knew/know all too well how the 2 are intertwined and how our brains need both. I have always had a deep and abiding love of the arts in all forms. It gave me perspective. It was the arts that gave me a way to remove myself from the daily and the ability to connect all the different subjects and interests and aspects of my life–the environment around me at any time. The creativity inherent in arts and arts education contributed immensely to my ability to channel that creativity into scientific research and the flexibility and self-challenge instructed my own approach to teaching and management. Art is what I always come home to.

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 include spoken/written art forms as an additional category above, which I believe is quite robust across grade levels. And these are my opinions of the programs. But even those areas where it seems to me that our programs are currently robust, I feel always need assessment and can always use improvement. And, of course, there is not always sufficient interest or budget or facilities for some activities. Our students are individuals and will always have individual needs and interests in the arts (as other fields), so it is critical that they all can engage in their own schools, or access a program easily, according to that interest. ‘Art’ is a dynamic field so there will always be new forms and it is incumbent on us to make sure our programs and materials are current and up to date. It is our goal (mine) to ensure that every student has equitable access to all the art forms from an early age. Some schools have more community support than others can afford in areas such as science and the arts. We need to make sure that the generosity of individual communities does not establish inequities in opportunity across the district and so put the funds where they are needed, support grant and partnership opportunities to bring it in and always celebrate it in all its forms to encourage our students to participate–and make sure we are staffed accordingly.

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
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers
  • Create a local arts education task force
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability
  • Develop or expand district support for teaching artist residencies
  • I want to ensure that every school has an avenue for celebrating and showcasing the art of every student.

Position Four

Sandy R Hayes

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

Music

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

I continue to play the piano, attend the theater, the symphony and concerts.

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?

The arts play a huge role in developing creativity for our students. A skill that will be necessary as we prepare our student for the second half of the 21st century.

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
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers
  • Create a local arts education task force
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability
  • Develop or expand district support for teaching artist residencies

Position Five

Amy Cast

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

Dance, Music, Media

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

Dance, photography and musical performance was foundational to my personal expression and sense of community while I was growing up. I was a somewhat shy child, and I felt like I could truly bloom in the arts. I had incredibly supportive teachers, and my choir teacher even allowed me to lead the performance of a song I wrote. I know personally that it is through the arts that a student’s voice and passion can truly be seen.

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 have been passionate about expanding access to the arts in all Northshore schools. One example is how I pursued and succeeded in finding resources to add another period to our high school schedules. We had too many students who couldn’t fit the arts into their schedule given growing graduation requirements. After adding a 7th period to the schedule, participation in the arts grew by over 30%. Similarly, I have pursued removing barriers to access in the younger grades. Northshore has a long history of vibrant music programs in our elementary schools. However, the optional band and strings programs were conducted before the school day. After a few years of study, the optional band and strings was moved to every school during the day. The results: we doubled the amount of 5th graders participating in the program.

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

  • Develop or update a district level arts plan
  • Support arts inclusion professional development opportunities
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability

Amy Felt

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

Visual Arts, Music, Theater

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

I performed in my High School theater productions. Performing gave me confidence and improved my ability to speak in public.

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?

In our district, there is an art docent program largely utilized in our elementary classrooms and run by the local school PTA. There are resources available to docents from the district. I would work to make more resources available to this program. I would encourage art docents from schools that have a robust program to volunteer some of their time at schools that have less resources and parent involvement. Students love engaging in the art lessons, so expanding this program to school communities where it is not offered regularly would be a goal.

An improvement recently made in our district was offering elementary band during regular school hours which allows for more students to access this program. It had previously been offered before school.

In secondary schools, band, orchestra, choir theater, visual and media arts are offered. Continued financial support of these programs is vital. Our district could improve with offerings for dance as I am not aware of many offerings in that area.
As a parent to students in the elementary, middle and high school, I understand the value the arts programs bring to children’s education. I will support and encourage the existing programs in our district to continue along with encouraging expanding into new programs and options.

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
  • 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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Orting School District

Position Two

JoAnn Tracy

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

Dance, Music, Media

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

It gave me a desire to continue playing the piano and clarinet.

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?

Improve on the Arts programs in elementary and middle school. Add after school opportunities for dance and theater. Improve quality of programs for both. High School needs more opportunities for theater and dance.

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
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers
  • Create a local arts education task force
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability
  • Develop or expand district support for teaching artist residencies

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Peninsula School District

Position Five

Juanita Beard

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

Music, Visual Arts, Theater

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

I was very inspired by arts throughout my high school years. Seeing in the annual fall please come out and being able to audition with all of the highlight of once educational career.

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?

My hope is to continue to enrich all students and their learning abilities by focusing on their strengths. Our marginalized students who don?t have resources to support this need to be addressed. We need reliable broadband access and I will be working with our senator on ensuring this is available for all 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
  • Support arts inclusion professional development opportunities
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers
  • Create a local arts education task force
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability
  • Develop or expand district support for teaching artist residencies

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Puyallup School District

Position Four

David Berg

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

Visual Arts, Theater, Music

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

Involvement in the arts made me a better public speaker and helped me become comfortable working with audiences of all sizes. I joined the debate team at my university, helping to write, rehearse, and perform with a team of students – some still friends 30+ years later. I have a better appreciation for art. I’m fortunate to have been able to travel and see in person some of the art I studied in my humanities classes, and can still remember why certain pieces of art define their era. I now count photography as an important hobby and outlet for creativity. I’ve enjoyed sharing the theater with my sons, from children’s theater through Broadway productions. They each chose to get involved in music, and I’ve seen them grow and perform in elementary school on through high school bands, jazz bands, and college and community symphonies. The arts have been central to some amazing family experiences.

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 want to make sure that we bring instrumental music, orchestra, and choir programs back to each of our elementary schools to minimize access to transportation as a barrier to access. We need to support the art docent programs that have used volunteers to assist teachers and helped to provide supplemental visual arts programming at our elementary schools. Not all schools are able to rely on volunteers, nor should we build programs that assume they can. At our junior high schools we need to identify and address sources of turnover in our music programs. Turnover is keeping schools from developing programs and providing consistency to our students. Our high schools have been better about providing access, but could benefit from having students who had earlier exposure to the arts to help develop and build interest. Dance programs are largely nonexistent outside of whatever is offered in connection to a theater production.

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
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers
  • Create a local arts education task force
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability
  • Develop or expand district support for teaching artist residencies

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Renton School District

Position Five

Shelby Scovel

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

Music, Dance

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

The arts was a huge focus of my education and continues to be with me after high school. I learned discipline and directed practice skills, built confidence, and achieved accolades.

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?

In partnership with the Renton Schools Foundation, we highlight needs across our district equitably. We have funded purchases of musical instruments, theater sets, music software, and other items.

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
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability

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Riverview School District

Position One

Lori Oviatt

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

Visual Arts, Theater, Music, Dance, Media

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

Arts have always been part of my life - I collect art, I zentangle, I paint rocks and much much more in order to have a creative outlet!

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 have art rotated into our board room created by our students - we also have greetings cards as posted on Arstonia that the board uses as gift cards and thank you cards.

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

  • Support arts inclusion professional development opportunities
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers

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Seattle Public School

Position Four

Laura Marie Rivera

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

Music, Media , Visual Arts, Dance, Theater

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

It is safe to say that the ARTS have had a huge impact on my Education, Career, Family, and Community. My first career was as a Broadway Performer. I danced all over the country- from Seattle to Maine, and even throughout Europe. Formative opportunities that I never would have had if it hadn’t been for my arts education. Since then, I have grown into Arts Education and nonprofit management. My work at Crystal Bridged Museum included a groundbreaking study that directly correlates Art Education and measurable gains in Critical Thinking and Empathy. While I know that not everyone will pursue a career in the arts, I believe that all students need to have quality arts education and exposure to all of the amazing cultural opportunities that are available in our city. And I am committed to creating equitable access for the students in Seattle Public Schools.

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?

Throughout my campaign, I have repeatedly advocated for the best possible education for all of our Seattle students. Of course, we know that there are a lot of students that have been receiving less for years. This absolutely has to stop and we need to immediately open up access to all of our best programming to students throughout the district. In the above section, I marked Needs Improvement for all levels. The truth is that it is far more nuanced than that. Seattle has some amazing arts and cultural programs that would definitely qualify as Robust. The first time I saw Ballard High School’s annual musical, I was blown away. Keep in mind, this is what I used to do for a living and I recognized that I was looking at future Broadway stars up on that stage. Sincerely, the best high school musical I have ever seen. And right before the pandemic, a Tony winning composer friend of mine was in town to do a workshop and performance with the musicians at Roosevelt High School. I was in awe of the program and opportunity these students were a part of. And on the other end of the scale, we have schools with NO music programs and NO art. These programs are literally Not Available at some of our schools because of the way we correlate funding and enrollment numbers. The arts are absolutely an integral part of a student’s education. Whether we have 100 students or 1,000- we need to provide access to quality arts education, the same as any other discipline. We need to make sure that our schools are fully funded. Full stop. This is an issue that goes beyond the School Board and I am fully prepared to advocate at the city, state, and national levels. There is no reason that city as rich as ours should not be funding the future. And that is exactly how I see it. We have over 50,000 students and that means 50,000 futures in our hands. This our chance to give our kids their best prospects for a brighter future. After all, they are our future rockstars, captains of industry, coworkers, caregivers, and neighbors. They deserve the best!

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
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers
  • Create a local arts education task force
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability
  • Develop or expand district support for teaching artist residencies
  • We need to put the "A" in STEAM. Arts education is not an extra, it is a key component of a well rounded education. It invites students in and opens the door for future opportunities. The Arts and Culture industry adds $35B to Washington state's economy. Not only do the arts make Seattle the amazing city that it is, the industry as a whole provides thousands of jobs and improves all of our lives. It is imperative that our students are given access and instruction for the arts.

Vivian Song Maritz

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

Dance, Music

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

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?

Seattle Public Schools currently has a public - private partnership called Creative Advantage. We must strengthen this partnership and make good on our shared commitment for equitable access to arts programs in our district. I will also engage our state legislators for better funding for public schools and to change the “prototypical school” funding formula so that it explicitly funds arts educators.

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

  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Develop or expand district support for teaching artist residencies

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Tacoma School District

Position Five

Bill Hanawalt

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

Theater, Music

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

I was not directly impacted by the arts the way many others are, but wish I had more opportunities earlier in my education to follow in love with them. I have been fortunate to live with a partner who is a pianist and who has helped show the arts, performed at any level of expertise (or no expertise) is a restorative expression of ourselves and our community.

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 think we need to find as many opportunities for young people in Tacoma to find something that they love and the arts is a huge opportunity for every student to find something that they enjoy doing and can express themselves through. We must make sure there is equitable access to arts and that things like dance, theatre and other art forms that often take greater space and financial resources are available to students through out our community and not just those schools that have the resources or where parents can provide funding individually or through PTA.

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
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Create a local arts education task force
  • I would support each of these really, but we also have to find the best way to utilize the time and resources we have as a district.

Elizabeth Bonbright

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

Media , Theater, Music

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

Music and theater have been an essential part of my wellbeing and sources of joy and enrichment throughout my life. My mother was an extremely talented actress and playwright and she directed both children’s theater as well as adult theater for 30+ years I recognize the critical importance of the Arts (in all forms) in the social emotional, physical, and academic development of children and youth. I provided a broad arts-based foundation for my own 2 daughters filled with live theater, music, visual arts and dance. Both played Suzuki violin for over 10 years each and participated in youth theater and dance. We regularly attended the NW Sinfionetta and live theater in Tacoma and Seattle.

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?

In recognition of the importance of the arts in social emotional and academic excellence and to provide equitable access to the arts and other educational opportunities, Tacoma Public Schools has created specialty schools that focus on the arts in robust ways, including 2 fully immersed Montessori schools (Geiger Elementary = pre-K - 5th and Bryant Elementary & Middle = pre-K - 8th), a feeder system of IB credentialed schools (elementary introduction, middle & high), one elementary arts magnet school (Grant Center for the Expressive Arts), and 3 highly regarded specialty high schools: Tacoma School of the Arts (SOTA), Science & Math Institute (SAMI), and Industrial Design, Engineering & Art (iDEA). I will continue to fight to broaden the scope and availability of these types of opportunities at every school in the district to ensure that every student has the chance to benefit from music, visual arts, dance, media arts, and theater. I understand that staffing for the Arts is often chaotic and uneven. The root of this problem is the woefully inadequate state apportionment funding allocated to “specialists” providing Arts instruction. I will continue to push for a more holistic approach to this formula to increase funding for staff in severely underfunded areas such as the Arts and mental health counseling, especially in areas of the district with students farthest from economic and educational opportunities.

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
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers
  • Create a local arts education task force
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability
  • Develop or expand district support for teaching artist residencies
  • Partner with City of Tacoma and Metro Parks Tacoma to expand opportunities for art enrichment for students before/after school, during breaks, and throughout the summer.

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Tahoma School District

Position One

Haley Pendergraft

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?

Allowed for me a creative outlet and stress relief

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 will work to guarantee that we offer rich programs that all students have access to

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
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers
  • Create a local arts education task force
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability
  • Develop or expand district support for teaching artist residencies

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Tukwila School District

Position Three

Bridgette Agpaoa Ryder

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

Theater, Dance, Visual Arts, Music, Media

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

The arts are still part of our family

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?

Advocating for funding and partnerships at the local and state level

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 arts inclusion professional development opportunities
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Seek partnership with City of Tukwila Arts commission and community based partners

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University Place School District

Position One

Ethelda Burke

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

Visual Arts

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

Camaraderie with other artists, focus, general appreciation of art

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?

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

  • Support arts inclusion professional development opportunities
  • Work for a budget to financially support arts instruction at all schools
  • Support professional development for classroom teachers
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability

Position Two

Marisa Peloquin

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?

The arts helped me to appreciate local culture, as well as cultures that I visited during my Army career.

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 have provided testimony to proposed legislation that would increase graduation pathways for students, especially in the arts (House Bill 1162). I’m also part of the Career and Technical Education Advisory board for the district, helping to ensure that we reduce barriers for students wishing to pursue careers in the arts. My son danced ballet for 15 years, and I understand the importance of arts education 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
  • Support arts inclusion professional development opportunities
  • Expand district-wide data collection for tracking, support, and accountability

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