ESD 123 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.

Kennewick School District

Position Two

Erin Steinert

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

Music, Visual Arts, Media

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

I was a child, and I suppose then a teenager, young adult, and now as an adult, interested in both the worlds of math/science and the arts. I entered and won several art contests as a young student, attended various art classes for years at an art institute as a middle schooler on a scholarship, played the trumpet for 8 years in grades 4-12, and even entered college on a design arts scholarship. After high school, I continued to pursue the arts in various forms throughout college (photography, graphic design, drawing, etc.), and have sought out visits to exhibits and performances in all areas. During my brief stint as a Montessori teacher, I taught math, science, and art to 1st and 2nd graders, and even drew weekly cartoons for the students on the white board every Friday. I currently create charcoal sketches and portraits in my free time, and try to find other ways to immerse myself in art in my daily life.

I have chosen to run on a platform of not just STEM, but STEAM education. Art has a place in science, and vice versa.

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?

Recognizing that our students come from a plethora of cultural and racial backgrounds is one facet to school safety. Creating equitable lesson plans in the arts that are designed with diversity in mind will go a long way in making sure all of our students feel seen and heard. Ignoring the fact that our students are all different in many ways, including economically and racially, would be doing a disservice to those students who come from historically underrepresented communities. Teaching our students to appreciate and embrace ALL differences is not divisive, as some have tried to argue; rather, it creates an environment of understanding and empathy, which is sorely needed in the world today.

Education should be a basic right for all citizens, regardless of their socioeconomic status or cultural background. Understanding the obstacles students face both in and out of the classroom in paramount to advocating for them and their achievement, and to enacting vital legislation meant to reduce barriers to success. The McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act, for example, was passed to provide support and resources for students experiencing homelessness, while the Family Education Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) ensures that public schools cannot inquire about, and therefore potentially discriminate against, a student’s immigration status. While a lot has been done thus far to try to create an equal and equitable playing field for all students, there is still a lot of work to be done in providing underrepresented students a quality arts education, free from obstacles and burdens. This includes providing support, culturally-sensitive curricula, and effective anti-bullying techniques.

I would love to see more programs offered both in the schools and outside of school hours. Offering programs online would help those students without access to transportation, and offering free or reduced-cost transportation, along with free or reduced-cost art programs, can go far in reaching the most number of students possible.

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
  • Working closely with local established art communities, like the Academy of Children's Theater, the Richland Players, the Allied Arts Center, etc. to offer free or reduced-cost programs and opportunities to all area students.

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Pasco School District

Position Five

Amy Phillips

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 went on to minor in Art in College and I’m sure music helped me be more successful in my mathematics education career. I’ve used art throughout my life as I’ve designed ads and logos for our family business. I have also done a lot of cake decorating and event planning which I’ve used my artistic skills. I’ve designed a few houses and done landscape design on my land that my home is on. Because art played such an important part of my life, all of my children have been involved in the arts in high school as well.

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
  • Support STEAM rather then just STEM

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Richland School District

Position Three

Elizabeth Vann-Clark

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

Media , Theater

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

The arts helped me develop my confidence and communication skills. It also inspired my own creative skills with costuming (sewing), building from set constructions, and a general love of creating. As a math teacher, I incorporated visual arts into my presentations and lessons, to improve student interest and understanding. Most of my volunteer work is in the science-fiction/fantasy literacy community, which contributes to visual and performance arts. My graphic design work on programming books and advertisements for this community led to my current career as a technical editor.

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 improve funding to art programs in our elementary schools and provide more support for students who can’t afford instruments and tools necessary to participation. Arts are often seen as extra-curriculars that rely heavily on the fundraising of booster and PTA/PTO groups. I would advocate that we reach out to our community and our local arts organizations to identify community needs that are creating barriers to access. We then need to problem solve to address, decrease, and remove those barriers.

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, Partner with local arts organizations and businesses to provide support to district arts programs

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Walla Walla Public School

Position Two

Terri Trick

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

Theater, Music, Dance

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

I received a theatre scholarship to Southern Utah University upon graduation from high school. Although I ended up majoring in English and Spanish, I have been active in community theatre here in Walla Walla since moving here in 1983. I also play piano in our local contra dance band.

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 proud to say that while I have been on our board, we have eliminated all participation fees for sports, clubs, and the arts. New this year is an elimination of spectator costs for all sports and arts events.

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
  • 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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