Susan Paine wants you to run for the Edmonds School Board

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Susan Paine

If you have an interest in education issues and live in the Edmonds School District, Susan Paine is hoping  you’ll consider running for the Edmonds School Board.

In particular, Paine — who has served as the District 1 board member for the past six years — says she isn’t running for re-election and so far, no one has filed for her seat. A link to the official legal description of each of the five district boundaries, including District 1, can be found here but District 1 generally encompasses South Edmonds including the Lake Ballinger, Highway 99 and Swedish/Edmonds Hospital neighborhoods, plus portions of Mountlake Terrace.

A mother of two students in Edmonds schools, Paine was appointed to finish the term of Doug Fair, who left the board after being appointed as Edmonds Municipal Court judge in 2005. She successfully ran for election once, but now is leaving the board and says she is looking forward to more time with her daughters — one who is a graduating senior and the other who is enrolled in the district’s V.O.I.C.E. (Vocational Opportunities In Community Experiences) program, designed for students aged 18-21 with mild to moderate developmental disabilities.

“It would be nice to see someone put their name forward who has an interest in educational policy,” Paine said, adding that anyone running for school board should also be able to look at both the short- and long-term impacts of policy decisions. The deadline to file for all open positions in the November 2011 general election  is this Friday. You can file online or in person at the Snohomish County Auditor’s Office in Everett.

Only the odd-numbered districts — 1, 3 and 5 — are up for election this year. The District 3 seat is held by incumbent Gary Noble of Lynnwood, who so far has two challengers — Nathan Yaffee of Mill Creek and Boe Lindgren of Lynnwood. District 3 covers approximately the Northeast Lynnwood/Martha Lake/south Mill Creek/Bothell area.  The District 5 board seat is held by Patrick Shields, also not seeking re-election, but so far has one candidate has officially filed to run — Mark Dillan of Edmonds. District 5 generally covers downtown Edmonds as well as north Edmonds and northwest Lynnwood, including the Meadowdale and Seaview areas.

Paine admits that it’s a challenging time to be a school board member, as the board grapples with “weighty issues during slim times. You have to think creatively.”  The time commitment averages 10-15 hours per week for meetings and other official board duties, she said. Board members receive a $50 per diem for each day they spend on board business, regardless of how many hours that day involves, although many board members have chosen to donate that per diem back to the district, Paine said.

When asked what she was  most proud of during  her six years on the board, Paine cited the construction of new buildings for Lynnwood High School, which opened in 2009, and Meadowdale Middle School School, which will open this fall, along with the district’s ability — through careful planning — to address ongoing state budget cutbacks.

She was quick to give much of the credit for meeting budgetary challenges to the district’s administrative staff and Superintendent Nick Brossoit, who are “always looking four, five, six  months ahead” and also to the community, which has been pitching in with fundraisers districtwide for everything from music to athletics. “We are relying on our community so much more these days,” Paine said.

Anyone who is thinking about running for a board position is welcome to contact Paine directly through her district email address: PaineS@edmonds.wednet.edu

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