Retaining high academic standards in the face of continuing budget cuts and figuring out creative ways to engage families are two main goals for the Edmonds School District’s newest School Board member, Diana White.
White handily defeated Mark Dillan Tuesday in the race for Position 5, which was an open seat as incumbent Patrick Shields chose not to run again. She had received far fewer votes than Dillan in a crowded primary race, but said she worked hard to get key endorsements (including ones from Shields and former Mayor Gary Haakenson) and also to spread the word of her candidacy among community.
She intends to immediately make contact with existing and newly elected board members “so I can better understand their goals, priorities and perspectives,” White said. ” My main goal is to be a collaborative member of a well-functioning board. I need to get to know them better.”
In addition to White, voters chose Korey DeMun (running unopposed) to fill the Position 1 board seat vacated by Susan Paine, and also returned incumbent Gary Noble for his third term at Position 5.
A commercial insurance writer with four children in three schools, White said she is also intent on figuring out “the best possible ways to be more accessible to the community. “ Some of her ideas include using social media, attending student government meetings, hosting question-and-answer sessions and visiting schools. She also said she will make it a priority to understand the needs of minority and special needs communities “and how we can better serve them,” as well as connecting with those families struggling to make ends meet (35 percent of district students receive a free or reduced lunch.)
White also plans to continue her school district and community volunteer work, including math tutoring, being on the board of the Hazel Miller Foundation and volunteering for the Edmonds Center for the Arts.