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Bellevue School District No. 405

Director District No. 5

Gregg Smith

Gregg Smith

PO BOX 53421

BELLEVUE, WA 98015

(425) 214-5335

Gregg4Board@outlook.com

www.Gregg4Board.com

Education: Bachelor's in Business Administration, University of Washington
Occupation: Broadband Business Owner, Volunteer, Entrepreneur, and Management Consultant
Statement:

I am running for Board because the Bellevue School District (BSD), once highly sought-after, has fallen behind and lost focus on what matters – students!  I want to fix this by re-evaluating the needs of our diverse students, then delivering a program, in a fair and equal way, that inspires each student to achieve their maximum potential.

Throughout the pandemic, BSD has consistently failed to meet the needs of its students. Our neighboring districts rose to the challenge, yet BSD readily gave in to unreasonable demands from the Teachers’ union (BEA) and our students were left with learning opportunities that ranked at the bottom of the state.  BEA and BSD need to be held accountable with more transparency.

Once students are back full-time, there will be the challenge of getting them back to excellence – both academically and emotionally.  There needs to be a strategy developed for this.

I bring an abundance of passion and experience, including PTSA VP, Director of after-school enrichment, Room Parent, ambassador for the BSD School Bond, and an active community volunteer. Our schools exist to serve our students. I will work hard to get our students back to excellence, both academically and emotionally. Please vote for me.

Caroline Smith

Caroline Smith

6129 115TH PL SE

BELLEVUE, WA 98006

(206) 335-6561

CAROLINEPSMITH1@GMAIL.COM

carolinepsmith.com/

Education: Bachelor's of Business Administration, Northwood University; MBA coursework at Eastern Washington University
Occupation: Business Owner, Dataworks Consulting, Inc.
Statement:

I have been a resident of Newport Hills for more than 20 years and actively supporting my community through my service as Treasurer of the Newcastle Chamber of Commerce, Girl Scout Troop Leader, and small business owner. I am deeply concerned by the impact of COVID-19 on our school district and how it has affected the relationships between parents, teachers, as well as the school administration and board. My family, especially my two daughters, has been deeply affected by this past school year as we have observed the pandemic tear at the seams of our community—especially our schools.

 

My goal in serving on the school board is to engage students, families, educators, and the community to create an equitable and inclusive environment where all students can thrive and succeed. I believe the board should make its decisions transparent to build trust as well as take responsibility for the community’s limited financial and environmental resources.

 

I believe bringing people together and building relationships will enable us to create a better tomorrow for our children and strengthen our community as we all strive to recover from perhaps the greatest challenge of our lifetimes. 

Jane Aras

Jane Aras

PO BOX 40125

BELLEVUE, WA 98015

(206) 295-2511

janeforschoolboard@gmail.com

janearas.com

Education: Masters (M.Ed.), Special Education, UW; Bachelors (B.Ed.), Special Education with Endorsement in Psychology, Gonzaga University
Occupation: Former General and Special Education Teacher; Community Advocate for Education
Statement:

As we recover from our collective trauma of COVID-19, our children, parents, and broader education community deserve collaborative leadership to rebuild trust and unity. We need a voice for all our children. We need policies that inspire and empower all students to excel and maintain high academic standards, while at the same time address our mental health crisis and support our students’ social and emotional needs.

Jane’s extensive experience in education and health advocacy, data driven approach, and proven ability to collaborate with our diverse community makes her the right person to face the pandemic fallout, and set a new course for our district’s future.

Jane has taught both special and general education, has been a longtime advocate for equity, and has seen firsthand the challenges students’ face –cultural assimilation, discrimination, bullying, and mental health issues. She has also worked with highly-capable students to keep them inspired both with and beyond their academics, with exceptional outcomes. Jane will be the voice for all our children.

Endorsed: Bellevue Education Association; 41st & 48th District Democrats; State Senators Wellman & Kuderer; State Reps. Thai, Callan, Senn, Slatter & Maxwell (fmr.); Bellevue Mayor Robinson and Councilmembers Barksdale, Stokes & Zahn; and many more!

 

Valeri Makam

Valeri Makam

5806 119TH AVE SE STE A #130

BELLEVUE, WA 98006

valeri4board@gmail.com

www.valeri4board.com

Education: Bachelor of Science: UC Berkeley, Masters of Business Administration: UC Davis, IB Diploma: High School
Occupation: Senior Manager at T-Mobile, Community Advocate for Education
Statement:

In the pandemic, many children received an inadequate education, teachers felt unsupported, and parents struggled with work and childcare.  I am running for school board to improve communications, enhance curriculum, and build connections that will guide our district on a path of recovery.

To help us recover and rebuild trust, I will drive authentic and transparent communications, prioritizing our childrens’ needs.

Educational excellence is paramount.  After a year of virtual learning, we need to expand hands-on learning programs for K-12 and increase STEM electives/internship opportunities across a variety of fields.  Let’s ensure every child is on a path to finding their passion before graduation.

To build connection and support, our district needs to prioritize mental health. I will ensure appropriate access to counselors and family services. This last year, I established social emotional learning groups at my son’s elementary school, partnering with a local non-profit focused on compassion and empathy – resulting in positive and profound impacts. As a child of immigrants, a 3rd and 7th grade parent, I have served in school PTAs, curriculum adoption committees, and district level equity task forces. I have strong acumen to dig deep, uncover root issues and a heartfelt dedication to our children.   

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