2 take on incumbent for M’ville school board

MARYSVILLE – Incumbent Bruce Larson is being challenged by Vanessa Edwards and Clarence Shaw for a position on the Marysville School Board.

The following is how they answered a questionnaire sent out by The Marysville Globe.

Vanessa Edwards

Experience: Bachelor’s of Science in business administration with an emphasis on human resources – “I love working and helping people.” Navy meteorologist and oceanographer – “taught me sacrifice, patriotism, flexibility and to work with diverse groups. Marketing/Outreach manager for Sno-Isle Natural Foods Co-op. “I led the rebranding, and rebuilt and strengthened community relations for the Co-op.” In first year helped Co-op reach record sales. “I worked with a tight budget, and with a lot of hard work and creativity, I helped rebuild a community.” Has been a PTSA officer and volunteer in elementary schools. Helped purchase new playground equipment after years of saving – “to teach respect, we must work on it together.” I ran the Books Before Bed event at Allen Creek, and partnered with The Hibulb, The Sno-Isle Library and the Japanese club at Everett CC, as well as parents to present a night of stories in varied languages.I ran a short story contest, and paid The Red Curtain Foundation to act out the winning submission. Secretary at Cedarcrest Middle School, Academy of Construction and Engineering, International School of Communications, and during the big change at Marysville Getchell High School – managed schools including budgets, helped build a positive culture and relationships between staff and students. I have lived through policies and changes the district has made. I have heard the needs and wants for our district. Volunteer with Ascend. We defined what student-centered is and how we can put it into play in schools. Marysville Strawberry Festival volunteer. Generations Community Church of the Nazarene volunteer. Vacation Bible School preschool leader. Snohomish County Agriculture Advisory Board member. On what issues do you differ from your opponents?: Our school district needs to be student centered. Trust, respect and authentic student voice must be a part of the culture. If you read, school improvement plans, culture doesn’t mention these elements. How can we build trust in our community, if we don’t give it our students first. We should not be comparing them apples to apples, because our students differ and so do our schools. I believe that autonomy must exist and that we need to push down more decisions. Who knows our students better than our staff members and the parents they interact with on more frequent basis? We have budget issues. It seems each election we are crossing this bridge. We must build trust between staff, district leadership, and our community, so that we can move forward with decision and pass bonds. Why not partner more with our community? This can be a no cost or minimal solution for our students to gain more real world skills or the opportunity to see career paths.

Why should people vote for you rather than your opponents? Our decisions must be guided by a clear vision of what success looks like for our students. I know how to build teams and relationships, and I know how to lead them to make this vision for Marysville schools a reality. As a school secretary and parent, I am very familiar with the school-related challenges. I don’t just listen to the problems — I hear and understand them from all points of view. Each stakeholder brings a unique perspective to our collaboration. I intend to keep communication open between stakeholders. My children are enrolled in Marysville schools; I want them and their peers to be nurtured and challenged, and equipped with skills relevant to the future. Academics are vitally important, but so is developing citizens and leaders who possess compassion, work ethic, initiative and vision of their own. With the leadership skills and knowledge I already possess, plus the many relationships I have built within the community, I am prepared to hit the ground running.

Bruce Larsen

Experience: One term on the Marysville School Board. Bachelor of Science from Eastern Washington State University. Community service with Quilceda Community Services (adults with disabilities).

On what issues do you differ from your opponent? None listed.

Why should people vote for you rather than your opponents? My wife and I have lived in Marysville for 38 years. During that time we raised three children who attended Marysville schools. Our two sons married teachers; my mother and grandmother were teachers. We have two grandchildren enrolled in Marysville schools. As you can see, my life has been deeply embedded in education and the Marysville community.

Prior to retiring from the Boeing Co., I was elected to serve my first term on the school board. As I am ending my first term I have found the amount of time reading books, reports, and preparing for meetings, attending seminars, workshops, conventions, and visiting schools in the district to better understand what is involved in the arena of education has been eye opening and rewarding.

There is more right than wrong with public education, and that is true in our district. Marysville School District has a good foundation. School facilities have been rated for projected upgrades. Academics are a concern in Marysville and statewide. In our district new curriculum has been implemented to address this concern. Achieving equity across the district is something we consider in each decision. Important work has been started that I would like to complete.

Clarence R. Shaw

Experience: Four years Monrovia School Board, four years Monrovia City Council in California. Employed by the state Health Care Authority as a medical assistant specialist, retired human services administrator, retired military officer, Army Reserve, Iraqi War commander, two deployments in Iraqi War, Life Member Veteran of Foreign Wars. Master’s degree in Public Administration, California State University; bachelor’s degree in political science, University of Arkansas-Pine Bluff. Over 30 years of community service. Elected and appointed to various boards, councils, commissions and committees including Snohomish County Solid Waste Commission. “My entire professional life has been dedicated to providing some level of services to the public. I have held extensive management and leadership positions. I have worked for some large, complex organizations, and I’ve learn how to manage in crisis and with nominal resources. I understand the importance of working well with others, motivating staff to get the job done right and learning the art of getting positive results in order to meet the organization’s goals. My experience as an elected official has provided me with the tough skills needed to recognize organizational problems, analyze them and offer the best resolution for all stakeholders. On what issues do you differ from your opponent? (Please don’t get into what you agree on because that won’t help us decide who to vote for):

1. I will focus on conquering the academic challenges that have plagued our district. We need to make substantial gains in areas such as improving our standardize test scores, reducing the drop-out rates, and providing more for our lower- and middle-tier learners. We need to expand programs like AVID and create other models that will benefit our diverse student population, as well as our special learners.

2. We need to create more-positive messaging about our schools success and the bright future that is within reach. That will enhance the public’s perception of the district. 3. Board members have an inherent duty to help shape the community in which they are elected. Their visibility in the community is monumental in terms of fostering positive relationships. They should be visiting PTA and other parents groups, attend and support extra-curriculer activities and take part in community functions. 4. The district should develop and execute a plan to help build positive rapport with community stakeholders. For example, there are many mentorship programs in other districts where local businesses have hired student as interns. Finally, we need to become better listeners of parents and students and take into account their suggestions.

5. We serve a student population whose needs go far beyond our district resources. We need to provide the very best referrals to this particular clientele. 6. We do not find success in setting goals and putting them on shelves. Results are quantifiably measured for progress and intermittently revised to address change. I am a strong proponent of good management principles and techniques. 7. The court ruling on McCleary will make way for many changes with respect to our fiscal policies, classroom structures, staffing, curriculums and other aspects of educational expenditures. Careful attention must be carried out if we are to use these valuable taxpayer dollars wisely.

Why should people vote for you rather than your opponents? I think voters should support my candidacy because of my background in public service, my proven leadership, my accomplished community service and lastly, my complete dedication to getting a job done. I am the candidate that will be pushing the envelope to turn Marysville School District into an “excellent” school district.


Most Marysville and Arlington residents already have received their Snohomish County Local Voters Pamphlets.

Ballots need to be mailed in by Aug. 1 or dropped off that day at a ballot box by 8 p.m.

There aren’t many races important to the two communities, but the ones that are contested are important.

The top two vote-getters in each race will go on to the general election Nov. 7.

Residents in both cities will vote on Snohomish County Council, Position 1. Three Republicans are in the running: Nate Nehring, who was appointed to the position at the start of the year, along with Robert Sutherland and Chris Ihler. Ray Miller of Marysville is the lone Democrat. Each explains their key issues in the pamphlet.

Marysville voters have a council and school board race to decide.

For City Council, there is incumbent Donna Wright taking on challengers Mark James and Jason Call.

For school board, incumbent Bruce Larson is up against Clarence Shaw and Vanessa Edwards.

Marysville also has a Fire District 15 commissioner race to decide, with Mark Hatch, Buck Evans and David Sherman all running.

The only race in Arlington is for Fire District 21, with Randy Dobbins, Ken Johnson and Eric Nordstrom battling it out.

2 take on incumbent for M’ville school board