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Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

The student news site of Inglemoor High School

Nordic News

Community elects two new school board directors

Ballot+for+the+November+Washington+state+general+election%2C+sent+to+registered+voters+on+Oct.+20.+In+total%2C+24%2C889+people+voted+for+the+District+3+school+board+director+and+24%2C577+people+voted+for+District+2.
Crayson Mavrinac (he/him)
Ballot for the November Washington state general election, sent to registered voters on Oct. 20. In total, 24,889 people voted for the District 3 school board director and 24,577 people voted for District 2.

On Nov. 9, results were released for the Northshore School Board elections. Elisabeth Sotak (she/her) and Han Tran (she/they) will be new school board directors. Elections started on Oct. 20 and lasted until Nov. 7 at 8 p.m. The board consists of five members who each are elected to serve four-year terms without compensation. Board members represent the district, review the superintendent’s performance and serve as community leaders. Two school board spots out of five were available in the 2023 elections: District 2 and District 3. Board members must reside within the regional boundaries of the district. Neither of the current representatives are seeking reelection.

“My kids have graduated now from Northshore School District. And so it just felt like this would be a good time for me to make room for other voices in our community to come in and get a chance to share their thinking and their contributions to this work,” David Cogan (he/him), a past District 3 representative and Board Vice President, said. “I felt really proud of the work that I’ve done in eight years and thought it was a good time for somebody else to kind of move the work forward.”

Sotak was the only candidate for District 2, while Tran and Dr. Myriam Jurirtz (she/her) were candidates for the District 3 position. On Nov. 13, a document of potential solutions to the ongoing $26 million budget deficit issue was uploaded to the NSD board website. Prior to its upload, the candidates voiced their opinions on the budget deficit. Juritz said her approach would keep the student experience unaffected.

“I am trying to protect the students the most, and when I say students, I mean the teachers that teach the students, the programs that benefit the students, the clubs, the arts, or the sports or all the things that are around the students,” Juritz said. “I know that $26 million is a lot of money, and I don’t know where it’s going to come from. So the only thing I do know is that I will look into the numbers very, very carefully and try to dig into every other bucket of numbers that are not touching the students.”

Sotak said the largest problem in the district is the lack of funding and that the current solutions for those problems are not made to last. She emphasized how finding solutions and enacting change as a school board member isn’t done alone, but in collaboration with the rest of the board. Tran said she would handle the budget by prioritizing proper funding of special education.

“Once special education is fully funded, we will then be able to use other types of funding for these extracurricular activities and to also bolster any programs that help catch students that may fall through the cracks,” Tran said.

According to the Washington State School Directors’ Association, the school board sets the goals of the district, revises policies and monitors the district’s progress towards its goals. On top of that, a school board member is expected to be active in the community and needs to listen to those in need.

“We’re listening at meetings, we’re listening through emails and other contacts. People are telling us about concerns and issues that they’re seeing at the district or personal level involving the district,” Sotak said.

This position involves being present 15-20 hours a week for school visits; board study sessions and meetings; community events; and regional and state school board activities. Sotak said she focuses on data-informed decisions when implementing policies that are going to affect kids.

“While people’s opinions might be different on what is best or how to achieve those things, there’s this really unifying vibe that I get from everybody that they really care about kids, and they really want kids to have the best opportunities and the most support to have a successful school career,” Sotak said.

 

Election Controversy

On Oct. 28, an anonymous mass text message was sent to Northshore community members about candidate Han Tran (she/they) who currently serves as a Washington Human Rights Commissioner and Chair of the Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Committee. The message read, “REJECT Han Tran, antisemitic Northshore school board candidate who calls for Israel’s destruction and elimination of Jews! VOTE by 11/7, protect kids.”

Dr. Myriam Juritz (she/her) and her team have denied any connections to the anonymous sender and condemned the sending of this message. These allegations of antisemitism surfaced after NSD parents discovered deleted Facebook posts expressing Tran’s support for Palestine. Tran responded to these allegations in an interview with Nordic.

“Hamas has taken hostages, they have done a lot of things that as someone who’s a humanist who values human life, it hurts to see happen. And on the same token, it also hurts to see that Gaza is being bombed, and there’s really no outlet for the Palestinians that are living there,” Tran said.

She said her stance doesn’t impact her ability to serve Northshore students.

“So no matter where I may stand on the issue, I need to, as a potential school board director, be listening to every single community member, whether they be Israeli or Palestinian, and really empathizing with what everybody is going through,” Tran said.

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About the Contributors
Klaira Zhang (she/her), Co-Editor-in-Chief, Co-Business Manager
Senior Klaira Zhang is the Co-Editor-in-Chief and Co-Business Manager of Nordic News for the 2022-2023 school year. She is excited to lead Nordic staff members, continuing to strive as a historically trailblazing publication and amplify unheard voices through quality writing. This year, Klaira’s main goals are to improve digital channels and promote DEI. Outside journalism, Klaira is involved in serving on the officer teams of DECA and FBLA. 
Junior Crayson Mavrinac is starting his first year on the Nordic News staff as a reporter. Outside of school he is a part of the National Honor Society and is interested in computer science. He strives to provide excellent quality articles that keep students updated on school and world news. He loves playing video games, listening to music and hanging out with his friends and his cat. He hopes to write articles that make people laugh, or at least make their day better.

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