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White River School District seats contested
The White River School District has two contested seats up for election.
Current School Board President Denise Vogel is being challenged by Kim Demarest for the District No. 3 Director’s chair, while newcomer Cassandra Pearson is taking on two-term board member Joe Dieringer for the District 4 Director position.
Mail-in ballots have already arrived at Plateau area homes and must be postmarked by Nov. 3.
For convenience, and to save 61 cents in postage, voters can drop ballots off postage free at a drive-up Vote By Mail Express Booth. There are two Vote By Mail Express Booth sites in the area – the Bonney Lake and Sumner Fred Meyer stores, which are open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Oct. 30 through Nov. 3.
Polling places will be open from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. Nov. 3.
District No. 3 – South Prairie and a portion of Wilkeson
Vogel, who was appointed and then won the seat in as an unopposed candidate, is completing her fourth year on the board. She is a homemaker and also serves as vice president of Swish Inc., a locally-owned marketing sales firm. She and husband Mike have been married for 24 years and have four students in the district.
Through the years, she has sat on the WRSD growth comittee and bond committee, has serves as a volunteer in the White River schools, as an adult leader for church youth group and the Boy Scouts of America.
“This past year has been really tough,” she said. “The district has been faced with challenges, but really great things are going on within the district. Even with the challenges, we’ve been able to keep the focus on learning and that’s where it needs to be. We need to keep focusing on learning for students.”
Demarest is hoping to bring a fresh perspective to the board and believes her background in education will help.
She currently works as a Muckleshoot Gaming Commission Tribal Gaming Investigator, but she is working on a degree in elementary education and English from Grand Canyon University. She is student teaching at the White River School District’s Wilkeson Elementary School.
She is married with two WRHS graduates and an elementary school student. She is a member of Calvary Community Church and has been a PTA volunteer, 4-H leader and Girl Scout leader.
She decided to run after the school her daughter attended, Wickersham School of Discovery, was closed by district officials during a budget shortfall.
She said she wasn’t seeing the interaction and discussion between board members she wanted.
“I want to be able to help them make changes that need to be made,” she said.
She’s also looking to drum up more community involvement to help teachers. She’s happy with the district, she said, but she thinks it needs new blood.
District No. 4 – east of state Route 410 and SR 165
Dieringer, a retired dairy farmer, is finishing his second term on the board. A former Buckley City Council member, Dieringer is a lifelong resident of Buckley and a White River High School graduate. He and his wife Gerry sent four children through the White River School District. He is currently serving as the board’s vice president. In his biography information on the White River School District Web site, Dieringer’s philosophy is that every young person should have the opportunity for a quality education. He believes this opportunity should be achieved by using tax dollars wisely.
Pearson is a 1993 Thomas Jefferson High graudate in Federal Way and has an associate of arts degree from Green River Community College. Pearson, who is married and the mother of five children, four who attend White River schools, is a PTA member, sits on the advisory committee for Gentiva Health, volunteers at the schools, and is a member of St. Aloysius Catholic Church.
Michael Jansen is running unopposed for the District No. 1 Director seat being vacated by John McArtor.
Enumclaw School District
Cathy Dahlquist, Director District No. 2, and Chris Van Hoof, Director District No. 5, are running unopposed.
Carbonado Historical School District
Laurie McNabb and Jill Snover are running for Director Position No. 1 and Director Position No. 2, respectively, unopposed.