Elections

North Thurston Schools Board of Directors District No. 5

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This race will appear on the Nov. 5 general election ballot.

Dave Newkirk

Age: 45

Occupation: Associate/Business Development Director for BCE Engineers

Have you run for public office before? If so, for what office?

Yes, Same position.

Please list any other experience you think is relevant to the position you are running for.

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Dave Newkirk Courtesy photo Dave Newkirk

I have been on this school board for the past 3 and 1/2 years. I have also volunteered within various schools throughout the District for many years. I have been a youth coach for various sports, a Rotarian for many years, and serving others has been engrained in me since I was a child of an Army Soldier. This is the ultimate way to give back to the School District from which I graduated.

Why are you running for this position?

I feel this is the best way to give back to my community. It is everyone’s duty to serve their community and I feel through my many years of volunteering and working within the community, I am fully capable and vested in helping to shape the minds of our children through free public school education. I am a product of North Thurston Public schools as a graduate from Timberline High School. I have 4 children, one graduate from North Thurston, 3 young children that will be in the District for many years. I feel this position has a direct reflection on how our children will be educated and I trust that my children and all children will have a great experience and get a great education at North Thurston Public Schools.

What are the top three issues you see facing the district you are running to represent?

I am not sure if these are the top three issues, but I feel these are a few issues we need to address. The first issue with all public education systems is funding. The legislature created a mess with the McCleary decision and by placing caps on local Levies. This will take some time to fix and put School Districts back on track. The Second issue that we all need to tackle is how to incorporate electronics into our education system without our children fully relying on them for their education. Electronics are being introduced to our children at very young ages and we need to find ways to use them to keep our children’s interests. We are responsible for teaching our kids how to socially relate to other human beings, I feel the use of electronics is deteriorating those skills. The third issue that I feel we need to address is equity throughout the District. We have made some strides to help balance our schools, but there is always more that can be done. If we can find ways to help all children, no matter what their circumstances at home may be, get balanced meals, clothing, school supplies, and shelter, then we as a community will truly see the amazing difference all our children will make for a better future.

Alyssa Compton Clark

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Alyssa Compton Clark Courtesy photo Alyssa Compton Clark

Age: 22

Occupation: Private Music Teacher

Have you run for public office before? If so, for what office?

No

Please list any other experience you think is relevant to the position you are running for.

I have several years of experience in child care and one-on-one teaching/tutoring. My work experience covers elementary, middle, and high school students.

Why are you running for this position?

This community has amazing resources, but too many programs struggle to be known. I want to connect the community programs we already have and interweave them into our school culture, ensuring that students’ needs are met without the district designing, launching, and funding a competing program. Through early learning community programs, students enter kindergarten ready to succeed. As they progress, they can benefit from career based services at the secondary level. By addressing both levels, the student and his/her family receives more thorough support than is currently provided. For more information, please visit www.schoolsforfamilies.com.

What are the top three issues you see facing the district you are running to represent?

Low literacy in elementary school sets students up for future struggle. Energetic intervention is needed from birth through 8 to help low income and ESL students learn to read and acquire appropriate math skills. Homelessness is also a huge issue, both for students in homeless families and youth who are homeless independent of their parents. Incorporating community programs into schools will help these at risk students to know where to go for resources. My final major concern facing this district is career preparation. While the high school and beyond plan is an excellent starting point, too many youth are graduating without knowing what they want to do with their lives. I would like to partner with several local businesses to provide work based learning opportunities to high school students, which will give them valuable work experience and inform them on career choices. This will help youth complete higher education with fewer major changes (for college bound students), give time and resources for youth find appropriate vocational training, and give a cutting edge resume to students desiring to immediately enter the workforce.

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