I’ve been on the school board now for nearly four years, and I’ve been board chair for three years. It’s been a wild ride and I’ve learned a lot, especially about how school budgets work and how the legislature and state laws impact what a school board can and cannot do.

I’m not going to tell you that you need that experience to be a successful school board member — I didn’t have it when you elected me. I will tell you that in order to be a successful school board member, you need to have a voracious appetite for learning. There’s always something new to learn, whether it’s a student or family’s experience, a staff member’s perspective, a new policy suggested by the Washington State School Director’s Association, a new law coming into effect, or how to run a school bond.

I never want to take my hard-earned knowledge for granted, and I always want to keep an open mind. It’s something that’s served me well from my childhood here on South Whidbey, my education in the district and at Carleton College, and my professional career as a volunteer coordinator, community organizer, game designer, video game writer, advertising copywriter, and theater owner and manager.

My experience has taught me the importance of crafting a sense of belonging, of encouraging interaction within a community, and building up the foundations of that community–and that’s exactly what I want to do for another four years for South Whidbey School District.