Three Snohomish school board candidates each have own vision
SNOHOMISH — A three-way primary has popped up on the school board between Sarah Adams, Sherri Larkin and Monica Weber. Each candidate has their own vision and priorities for the school director position as well as differing qualifications and experience.
The last day for voters to register to vote is July 24. Aug. 1 is when ballots will be due.
Adams, who was appointed to the school board in summer 2022, has been an active member in the community, by serving on the district’s Citizens' Facility Advisory Committee (CFAC) and the board of the parent-teacher association for Cathcart Elementary. She also has experience volunteering in classrooms and has two children currently enrolled in school.
Larkin has more than 20 years of experience in education, having taught elementary level students for 14 years and homeschooled her own children for four years. Now she currently substitutes as a teacher and tutors.
Weber, now retired, has been a teacher for 42 years and 29 of those years were in the Snohomish School District. She has also been the Snohomish Education Association president for five years. Weber has been a member of the community for 32 years and raised both her children through the Snohomish school system.
Each candidate believes that there are problems to be overcome and addressed by the school board.
Adams said that students are still recovering from the pandemic and will need extra help to accommodate for the loss of time in order for students to reach their full academic potential.
“Seeing my children and other children I work with struggle during the pandemic is what inspired me to become more involved with the district. In talking with students, educators and parents, I've learned that many students are still recovering academically from the impact of the pandemic, and I desire to continue focusing on addressing the needs of these students and helping them reach their full academic potential,” said Adams.
Larkin said that Snohomish children are in need of academic growth and plans to focus on math, English and science skills by providing support options for students in need of academic help.
“Less than 60% of Snohomish students are proficient in English Language Arts (ELA). Less than 50% are proficient in math and science. We have an elementary school that is less than 40% proficient in ELA and less than 30% in math. Snohomish schools need more flexibility in support options like private one-on-one tutoring and a deep review of curricula is a must,” said Larkin.
Weber said that there currently is not a voice for teachers on the school board and plans to become that voice for teachers to ensure that needs of students are met.
“And, you know, also having been a teacher to be a voice of, for teachers on the board, there is not that kind of balance currently on the board. And I don't believe that the Snohomish School District has ever had a teacher on the school board,” said Weber.
If elected, each candidate has priorities for their time in the position.
Adams’s priorities if elected are to provide students with excellent education while maintaining fiscal responsibility and ties with parents and the community.
“It is critical to provide high quality teaching and high expectations for student achievement. We know that many students got behind academically during COVID and so we need to provide the resources and support necessary to help kids catch-up. This should include providing targeted interventions for the students who are struggling the most.” said Adams.
Larkin’s priorities if elected will be to maintain quality of education as well as partnerships with families and the wellbeing of students.
“The school board must prioritize focus on key subjects, reading, writing, math and science to meet expectations of parents and the community… Students need a healthy environment in which to learn, we must protect our children. We currently have only two School Resource Officers (SROs) – not enough to protect the over 9,500 students in our district,” said Larkin.
Weber said her three big priorities if elected will be to commit to “equity and student success and community engagement.”
Weber also pointed out the district rolled out its strategic plan. “I think I would have to say that a big priority in that as a board member would be to implement that and help, you know, see how the different schools are performing, how the district is performing within that strategic plan. And that touches on, you know, equity, diversity of inclusion, it's very student oriented,” said Weber.
The top two candidates who get the most votes in the primary will move on to the general election in
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