As the results continue to come in for the election and will soon be certified, I want to start with sharing my deep gratitude for voters who have engaged in the election process. I also want to thank the many staff, family, and community members in Auburn School District who took the time to engage with me throughout this process and supported me every step of the way.
I am grateful for the support of so many families, friends, and community members – including my family at Grace Community Church, who have helped me and supported me in this journey. Participating in this election process has been a tremendous learning experience, personally and professionally.
I am honored to now have the opportunity to serve our Auburn School District students, families, and community. I believe public education is my calling, and I am blessed to have this opportunity to share my time, skills and talents as a board member in service of students, families, staff, and the community. My concern now, as an incoming director of the Auburn School Board, remains the same: supporting ASD Educators, supporting accountability, evaluating ASD policy through an equity lens, prioritizing adult learning, and ensuring our district is providing high-quality educational programming and whole child support to all students.
Over the course of the election a number of voters questioned my commitment to diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging. I was called names and put down, challenged about my beliefs and confronted about my position on race and equity in education. Unfortunately, in talking about race and diversity, I often experience a lack of a common understanding of terms and definitions and rarely have I had a meaningful conversation about race using the keyboard.
As a Native American Woman, I have seen and experienced institutional, structural and interpersonal racism in and outside of education. Through the Auburn School District strategic plan, district leaders have been very transparent through their website and open public meetings about the district’s diversity, equity, and inclusion work and the goals within our district to ensure every student has access to what they need to be successful. Auburn School District has made commitments to endure educational and racial equity in our school district. These commitments are clearly stated in Board Policy 0050, 0500P Ensuring Educational and Racial Equity. I am proud that ASD was one of the first few districts in Washington State to adopt a race and equity policy in 2016. Further, I want to be clear, that I absolutely stand with our district in providing equitable education support for all students by providing equitable allocation of resources, high-quality learning opportunities to every student regardless of race, ethnicity, learning difference, linguistic ability, or zip code, and by inviting family and community members to serve as partners in education.
Putting yourself out to the public to run for an elected office is not easy. I want to thank Mr. Dearinger for choosing to run for the Auburn School Board and I hope that he will continue to find ways to actively contribute to our district’s success.
I firmly believe that Auburn School District can serve as a model for student-centered learning and strategic partnerships and engagement within a diverse setting. I would like for us as an ASD community to be known for significant accomplishments in teaching and learning, accomplishments that we define together as a community, accomplishments that reflect and represent the beautiful diversity within our district. I look forward to the journey that is just beginning for me and the learning and partnerships that are sure to come.
Finally, I want to thank our outgoing District 3 Board Director, Ms. Laurie Bishop, for her support in this election, and more importantly for her years of service to our district and community. I want to again congratulate the entire ASD Board for being recognized by WSSDA as the large district Board of the Year! And again, thank you, Auburn Voters. I stand ready to serve as a member of your school board team.