Home Education King County Elections: Highline School Board Candidates – Districts 1, 4 &...

King County Elections: Highline School Board Candidates – Districts 1, 4 & 5


Highline School Board Candidates – Districts 1, 4, 5

King County Statements

Election Date: November 7th

Below are the five candidates running for Highline School Board.  

Highline School District No. 401, Director District No. 1

Stephanie Tidholm
P.O. BOX 48042
BURIEN, WA 98148
(206) 317-4416

Education: Associate of Arts in Psychology/ Bachelors of Arts in Psychology, University of Washington in progress

Occupation: LEAD Case Manager, REACH Burien


Highline deserves a leader who is deeply engaged in the community and committed to ensuring the voices of our families, students and educators are heard. A leader who will make sure our students receive the education they deserve and access to the resources to make that a reality. A leader who will advocate for educators to receive the support they need for success.

For nine years, I have been actively involved in groups that bring together Highline educators and parents, including the Family Action Committee, White Center Heights Dual Language Task Force, and SPEB (Supporting Partnerships in Education and Beyond), which advocates for communities of color in education. I also often volunteer my time at my kids’ school events and field trips. 

As a social worker for the LEAD program in Burien and White Center, I see the long-term effects that the lack of equity has on communities. Our children deserve equitable resources, facilities, and support. I work everyday to mitigate systemic barriers faced by marginalized communities; and as your school board director, I will bring the same dedication and vision to ensure the success of Highline students.

Proudly endorsed by King Co. Democrats, 33rd District Dems, OneAmerica, and more!

King County Elections does not correct punctuation, grammar, or fact check candidate and measure statements.

Michael T. Lewis
(720) 810-6125

Education: Bachelor–University of Nebraska at Kearney; Master–Lesley University; Master–University of Denver

Occupation: K-12 Educator


Respectfully, I acknowledge the Puget Sound Salish People, who are the the rightful stewards of this land that encompasses the entire Highline School District.

My name is Michael T. Lewis and humbly I am asking for your vote for the District 1 Board Director position. The Highline community deserves a board director who will listen to all stakeholders to help guide decision-making. Our students deserve a director who, as an experienced educator of 28 years, understands the needs of the classroom. Our district deserves a leader who builds relationships with local businesses, our community, and our families—a leader who has the knowledge to set the district on a successful course forward. I am that leader. 

A current teacher in Kent, I have also worked in fnancial aid, mentoring, and I am a staunch champion for public education. I value solutions that help our students and community, as well as celebrate their successes. I have a vision for the Highline Community and pledge that I will serve the diverse young people of our community. I would like to make this vision a reality as I look forward to representing you and our students. Thank you for your vote.

King County Elections does not correct punctuation, grammar, or fact check candidate and measure statements.


Highline School District No. 401, Director District No. 4

Melissa Petrini
17837 1ST AVE S #101

Education: BS, Business Management, Minor in Finance, BYU-Idaho 2003, AA Print Journalism, Ricks College 2000

Occupation: Dental Office Financial Manager, Home Educator, Autism/Down-Syndrome Advocate


Statement: I know it’s not easy to hear, but our schools’ educational report card signaled a steep decline before the pandemic, with 2 out of 3 kids currently falling below grade-level in Reading, Science and Math. We can do better! (OSPI.K12.wa.us) 

As a mother of 6 children, I have great interest in their educational future and I believe we can get our children back on track and make up the significant learning-loss. As your School Board Director, I will strive to: bring back an Academic Focus that builds foundational knowledge, invigorates and challenges kids interests, and prepares them to be mentally resilient, emotionally independent, and academically balanced for their future. I will Build Stronger Student/Parent/Teacher Relations by providing our children with full communicative support, reinforcement, and mental health services. I will bring a Balanced & Fair Approach to ensure fiscal accountability, respecting all viewpoints, and advocate for policies that are thoughtful, fair, and sound. 

Drawing on my experiences, education, and community outreach, I will do my best to represent parents and educators to build a stronger foundational future that we can all get behind. I ask for your Vote!

Proudly supported by parents, teachers, small business-owners and community members. 

King County Elections does not correct punctuation, grammar, or fact check candidate and measure statements.

Carlos M. Ruiz
411 SW 186TH ST

Education: BA in Management, University of Phoenix

Occupation: Strategic and Operational Consulting


Carlos has lived in Normandy Park since moving there from New York City in 2011 with his wife of 14 years; his experience going through the NYC public school system is what drives his passion for access to a quality education for all. 

Carlos has a technology and consulting background, having worked for large companies such as NBC Universal and Google. For the past 4 years he has served as the Board Chair for Seattle Credit Union helping the financial institution achieve its mission of serving communities traditionally ignored by large banks. Carlos is passionate about volunteering with community focused organizations of varying scope. He is currently a part of the Marvista Elementary PTSA, where his two daughters attend. He also volunteers his time as a board member with Southeast Effective Development (SEED), a non-profit focused on affordable housing, supporting the arts, and economic development. In the past he has served on the board of Pioneer Human Services and was appointed by Governor Inslee as a commissioner with the Commission on Hispanic Affairs, representing the counties of King and Pierce.

Carlos is excited at the opportunity to advocate for all the families served by the Highline School District.

King County Elections does not correct punctuation, grammar, or fact check candidate and measure statements.


Highline School District No. 401, Director District No. 5

Azeb Hagos (unopposed)
2003 S. 216TH ST P.O. BOX 98616

Education: Master of Education in Guidance and Counseling, City University of Seattle

Occupation: School Counselor, mom of 2 Highline Public Schools students


Azeb Hagos is a 26 year King County resident and Des Moines community member of 16 years. She’s a first generation American, high school and college graduate. 

She believes public education is the means by which we collectively help children acquire knowledge,skills, and attitudes needed to build lives of great purpose. It is an economic necessity and fundamental civil right.

She has taught thousands of preschool-12th grade students as a school counselor. She’s designed and delivered programs that promote academic/future readiness and personal development, advocated for student/staff well-being and addressed systems work such as trauma, safety and crisis recovery. 

She has upheld high performing school board member principles and worked to adopt data-driven policies with a student outcome, safety and quality systems lens. She called for a shared vision driven, financially stable budget and contributed to thoughtful governance. Strong public schools promote strong cities and thriving communities enhance schools. She is aware of strengths and challenges we face and will work to identify solutions for the betterment of our neighborhood schools across our five cities that make up Highline Public Schools. Azeb Hagos is the right visionary leader to serve as your school board director and asks for your vote. 

King County Elections does not correct punctuation, grammar, or fact check candidate and measure statements.

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  1. I didn’t think it should be so difficult for people running for public elected office and asking for the trust of voters to respond to questions and correspondence sent to them – some multiple times – especially considering that they “all” promise to listen to the concerns and problems people in the community have. But I would be wrong. I have written to current Highline Board members numerous times regarding past / historical sexual assault in general, and regarding the sexual assault I was a victim of by Vernon Chester when I was a student at Glacier High School in 1969. They have all refused to respond to any correspondence and have not responded to the complaint I sent to the district in 2020. Of the current candidates up for election this November, only Melissa Petrini and Michael Lewis have responded to my request for their views and help if elected in insuring the sexual abuse, no matter when it happened, is not covered up by the district.

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