MARYSVILLE – Kona Farry and Paul Galovin are challenging incumbent Mariana Maksimos for Marysville school board District 2.
The top two vote-getters in the Aug. 6 primary advance to the November general election.
Maksimos did not return a questionnaire from the Globe.
Kona Farry, 21
Employment: City of Marysville Parks, Culture and Recreation Department
Education: Earning my BA in Community, Environment and Planning at the University of Washington, graduating June 2020.
Why are you running?: I’ve been involved with the school district and Marysville’s broader education conversation since 2013, most recently as a current member of the Enrollment and Demographics Committee. I have a lot to contribute to our schools, but am primarily motivated by the unfortunate reality that students don’t have means to influence learning, policies and programs in the district.
Experience: I have an intimate familiarity with our schools and what they’re like every day—I just went through 12 years of the system. As a director, I will bring this necessary perspective to the table, ensuring that we put our students at the center of everything we do. I also helped co-found and lead Achieving Student-Centered Education Now through Discovery (ASCEND), a nonprofit organization in Marysville that’s exploring how education can more effectively help each student develop the skills necessary for personal success. We believe learning is a process of liberation and empowerment, and this same perspective will guide my decisions as a board director.
Top 3 issues:
• Communication and trust: I’ve experienced frustrations with this myself, and so has nearly everyone I’ve spoken to—it’s simply hard to get good information about what’s going on around the district. As a director, it will be a top priority of mine to ensure that everything we do is developed in partnership with the community, that our strategic directions are fair and equitable, and that all of this gets communicated clearly to all stakeholders.
• Funding: Our classrooms are deteriorating, with basics like A/C units constantly needing extensive repair, and programs are consistently having to scale back. I believe we need to be responsible with our taxpayer dollars and ensure we can meet our basic necessities, while also being careful with how much we ask for from our families.
• Student voice: For a system that’s supposed to serve students, they’re usually not allowed to be active participants in this process, and when they are it’s usually not meaningful. I believe we need to include our students when making any major decisions, and ensure that their voices and perspectives are heard and carefully considered.
Why should someone vote for you rather than your opponents?: Education should develop students into competent citizens, prepared to take on the world in whatever fashion they choose. I know what it’s like to be a student today, and how we need to better support them. Now at UW, my studies have included a number of courses on recent education research and best practices. My involvement with ASCEND, and the many years prior spent advocating for better learning environments, demonstrate my commitment to improving our community. I’ve developed close relationships with students, teachers, staff and families that help me see the bigger picture. These relationships uniquely equip me to serve Marysville as a school director.
Paul Galovin, 41.
Employment: I have worked for the Carpenters Union (PNWRCC) since January 2008. I also work in the Army National Guard, currently 1st Sgt. for A-co 161 Infantry out of Redmond. I have 18 1/2 years in the military and am set to retire in January of 2021.
Education: I graduated high school in 1997 in the Everett School district. I journeyed out as a carpenter through Skagit Community Collage. I have attended many leadership schools through my time with the military. I am a victim advocate for the state, as well as a Master Resiliency Trainer. Why are you running?: I care a tremendous amount about the education process for the Marysville School District. Experience: I stay active in many ways at board meetings and events and have been able to contribute in some ways to help our schools already. I want to do more and be a source for parents to feel open to talk directly to for the current issues in our schools. Top 3 issues:
1. Our schools suffer from old age and inadequate space. 2. The public needs to see and hear of the care and concern the school district puts into the facilities in order to gain buy-in for better facilities. 3. Class attendance has been reducing in size I believe because many new families with young children shop for homes based on school districts. The state of our schools is decreasing our funding for fixing them up. Why should someone vote for you rather than your opponents?:
I am a parent of a 12-year-old boy attending 10th Street elementary. As a parent I have powerful incentive to bring to the table for discussion what our children’s parents needs are. I have been a leader for many years now, and I have gained skills to help people look outside the box for new results. I care enough to serve in any way needed within my community. I am not one to go into anything I do without going all the way in. I will put forth all the effort I can muster to help our team of directors make informed decisions in a timely manner that have the best chance for success.