Wednesday, May 15, 2013

I'm running for the Everett School Board!

Media Release


May 15, 2013


Kim Guymon, Founder of Everett School BoardProject, runs for the Everett School Board Position 2

(Everett, WA)  What started out almost two years ago as a social media effort focused on creating change has now turned into a run for public office. After a series of issues that propelled the Everett School District and the Board of Directors to the front page of many regional newspapers for all the wrong reasons, Kim Guymon founded the Everett School Board Project, an online advocacy group of now 200+ people in the Everett area.   

The Everett School Board Project’s Facebook page and its companion blog has been part therapy, part sounding board, and part district news source for Kim, but though using social media to connect with the public is foreign to many, it is not for Kim Guymon, who spent almost 10 years leading an online community of retailers as a consultant in the photo industry.  But after working to create discussion and awareness around leadership priorities and challenges with the current Everett School Board, Kim has decided that more direct involvement is needed to help create needed change, and has filed to run for the #2 on the Everett School Board.

“When I started the Everett SchoolBoard Project, I didn’t do it with an eye to getting on the school board,” says newly minted Board candidate, Kim Guymon.  “I started it because I knew that there had to be other parents out there who were frustrated and needed a place to talk with each other. Those with concerns were often made to feel like the ‘lone wolf’ with the implication that no one else has ever spoken out – which is rarely true.  After two years of talking, listening and influencing, I decided it was time to get more even involved.”   

Kim doesn’t have the background that has come to be associated with many typical school board candidates.  Kim reports that  “Some people have expressed concern that school board members, as with other public officials, seem to often come from a tightly connected network of community organizations, where it appears that people run to improve their resume and to play the ‘you scratch my back, and I’ll scratch yours’ game.  That’s just not the world I come from, and certainly not the way I operate.”  Instead, Kim has spent much of the last 16 years raising her family.  This Fall she will have two sons, a junior and a freshman, in Everett public high schools, and like many other parents, much of her time and energy has been spent supporting her children’s education and school activities.  As with most parents, she has volunteered in the classroom, donated supplies, and attended fundraisers, concerts and sporting events.  She is currently a student herself through an online program at Brigham Young University and plans to graduate from BYU the same year her oldest son graduates from Cascade High School.  “One of my most important qualifications for this position is that I can relate to the concerns that students, families, and teachers have.  I understand the need to prioritize time and resources and to focus on where you can make the greatest impact”, she says. 

As a member of the Everett School Board, Kim plans to focus on 6 core principles:
  • Lead with the students, teachers and families of the districts always in mind
  • Set prudent financial management priorities that are student-focused
  • Communicate with the public in the spirit of transparency and respect
  • Respect the teachers who work tirelessly to prepare our students for success
  • Seek innovative educational solutions that engage and excite our 21st century students
  • Help create a positive educational environment that pushes Everett Schools to the top of the list

“I believe that School Board Directors are elected by the public to represent the interests of the public,” Guymon says.  “I think too many school board directors forget where they came from, and start prioritizing the interests of the administration and other groups that don’t always have a direct connection to students and learning.  I want to be part of an effort to refocus on the students, families and teachers of the district and make sure their needs are met and their efforts supported.”

Further information on Kim Guymon’s campaign for Everett School Board Position #2 will be found at 

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

One of these things is not like the others....

Remember this Sesame Street Game?

Well, we're going to play it on this blog today.  Afterall, it IS educational. Look carefully at the top photo and tell me which one of those things are NOT like the others.  I'll wait

Okay, ready?  If you guessed that ALL THE OTHER SCHOOL BOARD SEATS are for a 4 year term and EVERETT School Board seats are for a SIX year term, then YOU WIN!

The question is, "Why?"   We are one of just THREE districts in the whole state who operate on 6 year terms.  I believe Spokane and Tacoma are the other two.  When Director Jessica Olson proposed a discussion regarding it (because the school board may change it with a vote, from what I understand), she was shot down and told that they NEEDED the term so they could really get up and going and have continuity.  Really?  Why do WE need six?  Are we not as bright?  Are we special?  Are we afraid of giving up our power and having to answer to the voters more often?  

Picture this - if you were elected to the school board the same Fall your child started Kindergarten, you wouldn't have to be accountable to the voters until they were in 5th grade.  If you were re-elected, you wouldn't have to face the voters again until they were Juniors in High School.  So, two terms on the Everett School Board spans nearly the entire school life of a child.  If you were elected the year your child was born and served just THREE terms, you would be on the board from birth to adulthood.  That. Is. Nuts.  

Conversely, under a 4 year plan, you would have to face the voters and be accountable THREE times in that same "school lifetime" time period and FOUR times in the "Birth to Adulthood" scenario.  That would give more people a chance to serve and more people the chance to change the face of the board and make more board members accountable for their actions.  

What does state law say about this?  School board elections must be held in odd-numbered (off) years and elections must be staggered, meaning you can only have a few up for re-election at a time.  That's it.  That's all it says about the issue of "how long".  

So, this Fall, Everett will have the opportunity to elect two new members of the school board.  According to the current schedule, in 2015, two more seats will be up for re-election and then in 2017, the member we elected in 2011 would be up.  But, you could simply add the 2011 member to the 2015 ballot and have THREE up for re-election.  It's really very simple.  She would have served 4 years at that point and the other two would have served 6 but will then start the 4 year cycle.  Then, the two elected this Fall would be up for re-election in 2017. It's really not that complicated, nor is it that disruptive to do.  

But, alas, what practically every other school board in the state manages to do in FOUR years, we need SIX to do.  Gotta keep hold of those seats as long as possible....  Facing the voters and being accountable is messy and unpleasant stuff (and makes the Superintendent NERVOUS).