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School Board Candidates

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Doug Fagundes is running unopposed for Pos. 1 on the Fife School Board, while Robert Scheidt and Drew Ritzen are running for Pos. 2.

Doug Fagundes (Pos. 1 incumbent, unopposed)

What are three top issues that you plan to address or that form your election platform?

Top issues for me are as follows: State testing and evaluations for teachers; student voice; and supporting our administration personnel moving forward that are doing a great job to date.

How are you qualified to champion those issues?

I have been serving on the Fife School Board for going on seven years now and feel I have some good input and the ability to learn and listen very well with great success.

How do you see yourself working, or at odds, with the other members of the council?

I have over 30 years in the customer service field and feel I know how to work with anyone under any condition on many levels. I may not always agree with everything to start out but I have the knowledge to educate myself enough to learn what I need to know to do what’s best for the kids and schools.

What else should voters know about you?

I am a Planning Commissioner for the City of Fife going on my third appointment this last year, and I enjoy always learning more and more every year doing that. I’ve been a Fife School Board member for seven years, on the Hope Foursquare Church of Edgewood Council, and now The Edge Church of Edgewood Council Member. I have four kids, all Fife grads, three grandkids, and an amazing wife, who is a Fife grad as well.

Where can voters learn more about you?

I do not have a website but my Facebook page is public; email is .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address); phone (253) 405-4831 and I will always make myself available when I can do so.

Bob Scheidt (Incumbent Pos. 2)

What are three top issues that you plan to address or that form your election platform?

We, as a district, have done well maintaining our facilities as long as possible, but some are becoming in dire need of upgrades. During the 40 years I’ve lived here, the condition of the schools has been of key importance to our community. My school board experience during the construction of Columbia Junior High and the renovations of the Surprise Lake Middle School soccer field and Fife High School football field will be valuable, as I can apply the lessons learned to new projects in the coming term.

Class sizes are a continuing challenge for any district, and I believe we have focused on this area with success. We have adjusted to an influx of all-day kindergarten students, and have continued to keep class sizes manageable despite facing funding challenges at the state level. It is very important that we continue to limit the number of students in each classroom, so that the teachers can help every child to be successful.

Fife is a diverse community, and it is very important that we integrate all students well into the classroom environment so they have a safe space to learn and grow. Not only must we be vigilant to include and protect minority students, but we must also make special effort to connect with the families of students in our community whose first language is not English, in order to help them participate for the benefit of their children and our whole community.

How are you qualified to champion those issues?

I have 13 years of school board experience to lean on when facing these and other challenges in our school district. In addition, as a longtime business owner, I have decades of experience in managing funds and other resources to get optimal benefits from them. I am very comfortable with the responsibilities of leadership, and I am willing to listen to any community members who have expertise or ideas to help our district.

How do you see yourself working, or at odds, with the other members of the council?

My track record over the past 13 years, including two terms as school board president, with other school board members, teachers, district employees, administration and the community at large shows how well I can work with different groups with differing concerns to help us be successful as a school district. I cherish the relationships I have made with members of our community, and I am humbled to have the opportunity to work with the truly noble people called to the field of education.

What else should voters know about you?

I am honored to have the endorsement of the Washington Education Association, and I am proud of the work I’ve done with teachers as a school board member. My vision is for Fife Schools to be on the leading edge of districts, always pushing to find new ways to excel in education, and to be a model district and community for our area. I believe it is the role of the school board to meet the needs of teachers, parents, the district, and the community so we are free to focus our efforts entirely on the education of our youth.

Where can they learn more about you?

Anyone who wants to know more about me, my tenure as a school board member, or my goals for the future of Fife Schools can feel free to contact me at (253) 380-7581.

Drew Ritzen (Challenger Pos. 2)

What are three top issues that you plan to address or that form your election platform?

Communication is the corner stone to any healthy organization. My goal as a school board member would focus on making sure that district decisions are transparent and available to the community in a timely and accessible manner. I would also seek out input from different perspectives regarding how our district systems are working for people. I believe in getting information firsthand by visiting the schools, engaging with staff, and meeting with parents. I would want to know what is working well and where some shortcomings may be so improvement could be made.

Not only is the Fife School District growing in the number of students it serves; it is becoming more diverse. It is important to understand the families and backgrounds of students so we can best serve them. As a school board member, I would advocate for any program that would reach out to our minority families and make them feel a part of the Fife School District educational community.

Making sure our buildings and vehicles are up to standard and curriculum materials are up to date plays an important role in the success of school districts. I believe in planning ahead and looking at growth projection models for our district so we can use our funds wisely to best serve our students and make sure our schools are safe and at a reasonable capacity. I would also want to make sure our dedicated teachers have the materials they need to do their jobs with a regular cycle of evaluating the effectiveness of curriculum materials.

How are you qualified to champion those issues?

I know this district from different perspectives. I was a student (graduated from Fife High in 1992), I am a proud parent of a middle school student and I taught here for 15 years at Discovery Primary. As a teacher, I was very successful at thinking of unique and interesting ways to reach students and encourage family participation. I would like to take those experiences and apply those skills by creating a sense of belonging for more students and families and apply that to the district as a whole.

How do you see yourself working, or at odds, with the other members of the council?

I want to be an effective school board member. This means that I won’t always agree with everyone. However, I believe this makes for a stronger overall school board. Part of my job as an elected official would be to listen to people, gather firsthand information, and even respectfully raise concerns when people come to me with them – I would be a representative of the community. With that said, I will support any item that is passed by the board with a majority. Strong organizations have differing viewpoints, but stellar organizations are able to move on together.

What else should voters know about you (endorsements, opinions or visions)?

In my 15 years of teaching in the school district, I have built a level of trust and open communication with the staff, parents and students. I was voted upon by my peers as the Discovery Primary teacher of the year in 2004. I left teaching in 2014 to challenge myself in pursuing a graphic technologies degree and still remain active in parent groups and volunteering in the schools. I will work hard for this community. I think I was a pretty good teacher, but I believe I will be an even better school board member.

Where can they learn more about you?

Facebook: Drew Ritzen for Fife School Board

Email: .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)

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