School board race presents choice between management styles
October 13, 2011
By Sebastian Moraga
Craig Husa and Carolyn Simpson are enmeshed in a race for Husa’s spot on the Snoqualmie Valley School Board that looks as hard-fought as any in recent memory.
Simpson said the community needs a different philosophy to cure an unresponsive school board.
“Over the years, there’s been a significant focus on buildings,” she said. “We need to redirect that focus on students and what they need to accomplish.”
Husa said that what the school district needs on its school board are leaders like himself and not micromanagers like Simpson. On a school board “you hire the professional educators, and you provide the governance for them,” he said. “You don’t micromanage.”
Both married with two children, the two candidates agreed that the district is good but can be better.
Husa said he believes the most pressing issue for the district is finding funding, but the lack of state cash cannot be an excuse for student failure.
“Just because we are not being supported by the state, does not make it OK for us to not enable our students to have the maximum success possible,” he said.
Simpson said she believes the most pressing issue is student success, which she said the district is measuring the wrong way.
“We are comparing ourselves to the state and the nation, but that’s not really our league. Our league are the Eastside schools. Those are the schools our kids will compete with for jobs and college choices.”
Simpson touted her work on the Snoqualmie Valley Schools Foundation, which she led until 2010, the Mount Si High School Learning Improvement Team, the Band Boosters at two schools, the Snoqualmie Economic Development Commission and the Snoqualmie Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Husa highlighted his work as a children’s coach in four sports, a Cub Scout and Boy Scout leader, and years as a volunteer in different schools. He also mentioned his work as CEO of 3Tier, a renewable energy forecasting company.
Simpson said Husa is a very nice man who turned a deaf ear to her concerns about the school district.
“I have tried to work with him on these ideas,” she said. “And I haven’t seen progress.”
Husa said if he lost, a micromanager would take his spot.
“My opponent comes in by zeroing in on very narrowly focused pieces of issues and not looking at the big picture,” he said.
Husa said his experience as a leader and as member of governing boards make him the better choice.
“I understand how to work with people and make the whole more than the individual parts,” he said.
A board member since 2009, Husa said there’s important work left to do, like advancing online learning.
“Student achievement is multifaceted,” he said, later adding, “and we are trying to achieve a lot.”
If elected, Simpson said she would focus on raising standards, improving community planning and student success.
A Snoqualmie Ridge resident, Simpson said the concerns of her community equal the concerns of the rest of the Valley.
“It is important to have someone from Snoqualmie on the school board,” she said, dismissing fears that she will favor the Ridge if elected.
“No,” she said. “It’s about every single child.”
Sebastian Moraga: 392-6434, ext. 221, or firstname.lastname@example.org.