Home Education Time to Vote! Portrait of a Highline School Board Director

Time to Vote! Portrait of a Highline School Board Director

Holding the position of “Highline School Board Director” may seem like good fun, but the reality can be daunting. It requires dedicated time and diligent accountability to the entire community of students, parents, teachers, staff, and the community at large. The current annual operations budget approximates $391,000,000. Enrollment comprises 18,488 students who speak 89 different languages.

Because most of us will never run for school board, it makes sense to understand some of the job requirements so that you can make an intelligent choice when casting your vote on November 7th. 

The job of an individual school board member is varied and may typically include:

  • Take an oath of office.
  • Speak up on behalf of public education.
  • Study issues and regulations.
  • Make appropriate rules, regulations, and bylaws.
  • Review/revise policy.
  • Attend board work sessions and retreats.
  • Participate in professional development.
  • Take part in periodic reviews of goals and policies.
  • Make sure goals and policies abide by all relevant laws and regulations (e.g., Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and state sunshine laws)
  • Pursue state and federal support for the district.
  • Provide input to long-term plans relating to the Strategic Plan, District Improvement Plan, and Evaluation Impact on Student Achievement.
  • Set data-driven expectations and goals. 
  • Hire and evaluate the Superintendent.
  • Monitor district accountability.
  • Participate in board self-evaluations.
  • Listen to concerned constituents and direct them to resources to resolve their issues.
  • Communicate with the public (e.g., study circles, focus groups, polling).
  • Meet with particular groups, e.g., parents or taxpayers, to discuss a specific issue.
  • Continue to educate themselves through workshops and seminars on issues relevant to the board.
  • Contribute to board deliberations and vote their conscience.
  • After a vote, promote the decision of the board.

There are four broader areas where School Board members work to set goals and policies:

1. District Leadership
2. Financial oversight
3. Management of district policies
4. Advocate for Public Education

Here are the Highline School Board Director Candidates:

District 1:
Stephanie Tidholm
Michael T Lewis

District 4:
Melissa Petrini
Carlos Ruiz

District 5:
Azeb Hagos (unopposed)

Remember to Vote on November 7th by mail or ballot drop boxes by 8 p.m.


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  1. The position of school board member is indeed not only daunting, but is a serious and extremely important position as they are in charge our future and the hopes of all responsible parents and citizens; our children.
    They are also responsible to the voting public and to creating policy.
    It is therefore a shame that the current board as well as “most” of the candidates have repeatedly failed to respond to reports of sexual assault in Highline Public Schools, and by their inaction and refusal to even respond to the numerous attempts over the last three years have failed in their roles and have failed to honour or fulfil their oath of office.
    Among the current members running for board, only Michael T Lewis and Melissa Petrini have shown that they are willing to listen to past allegations of sexual assault in Highline schools and to promise to work toward making the Highline School District be more responsive to claims of sexual assault and to insuring that the identity of predators, like Vernon W Chester from Glacier High School, are not being actively protected by the District as is the case today!

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