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Seven will be up for open school board position

SNOQUALMIE VALLEY - Seven Snoqualmie Valley School District enthusiasts will vie for one school board seat Nov. 18 when they interview for the vacancy made by former board president Dave Reed.

The board will appoint the chosen individual to finish out the rest of Reed's term set to expire in 2007. Reed is stepping down from his more than 10-year stint on the board because he no longer has children in the district and also wanted to allow the new board member time to get acquainted with the board before the new superintendent search begins.

William Crone, Joel Frederick, Kimberly Horn, Kathryn Lerner, Maggie Schnepf, Patrick Sprague and Elaine Webber will be publicly interviewed at the Nov. 18 board meeting and one will be selected and sworn in that same night.

Frederick, 6533 W. Crestview Lp. S.E., Snoqualmie, is the 43-year-old father of one kindergartner and one child in preschool. Before he began his current career in the banking and finance industry, he worked for five years at a St. Louis high school where he served as resident counselor and a coach.

"I had to work closely with lots of parents so I have some idea of how parents relate to education and an idea of how things work internally from a school board standpoint," said Frederick, who added he plans to stay in the community "for the long run," and wants to be on the board because he's used to being active in his community.

"I just care, that's the reason I'm doing this," Frederick said. "I'm hoping to bring an aspect of impartiality and fairness since there seems to be feelings of division and I hope that's something that can go away."

Horn, 7118 Autumn Ave. S.E., Snoqualmie, was a second-grade teacher at Snoqualmie Elementary School until she had her two sons, now ages 4 and 1. The 35-year-old mom assisted with the last bond campaign and said she is very passionate about education.

"I thought this would be a good opportunity for me to have an impact on the schools while still being at home," said Horn. "Although our district is small, we've done things that really impress people at the state level and even the national level. We have a lot to be proud of and I just want us to keep that going."

Lerner, 7605 Fern Ave. S.E., Snoqualmie, left her human resources career of 12 years to stay at home with her kids in 2000. She has a fifth-grader and a 3 1/2 year-old. She said she has volunteered her whole life, growing up in a family of enthusiastic volunteers.

"My biggest short-term concern for the district is finding a superintendent that can fill McCullough's shoes. With my background in human resources and team development, I think I can bring valuable skills that can be utilized immediately," she said.

Her other concerns for the district include growth, funding and how to handle "No Child Left Behind".

"I'd like to represent the whole district," Lerner said. "I want to make decisions that make sense for the entire school district."

Schnepf, 7324 Fairway Ave. S.E., Snoqualmie, is a 37-year-old mother of two small children. Schnepf left a seven-year career at Microsoft to stay home with her children in 2002. Her last position at the company was director of enterprise sales operations.

"Microsoft could be a contentious environment at times and my policy was you don't need to offend people to make a point. Everybody needs to focus on the best solution for the most people," she said.

Schnepf's main concerns for the district are the selection of a superintendent, the growing population and on-going building projects.

"The population is rising quickly and shifting. I want to make sure there's a balance of representation in the district," Schnepf said.

Sprague, 7033 Fairway Ave. S.E., Snoqualmie, is 39 and has two boys ages 4 and 2. He has worked 20 years in developing better work environments for corporations such as Hewlett Packard.

"I've had a lot of experience working in corporations, helping the communication process," Sprague said. "I think I can add a lot to ease the tension I feel exists throughout the area."

Sprague said he detects a rift between Ridge-dwellers and those living in old Snoqualmie.

"A lot of times I hear people on the Ridge are mad about what the city thinks and people in town are mad about what people on the Ridge think," he said. "I want to break that down and I think I can do that."

Elaine Webber, 7721 Fairway S.E. in Snoqualmie, taught for 20 years in the district and now works as a financial advisor. She said she has always intended to run for the school board when she left teaching.

"Although I'm no longer teaching I still feel like I have a tremendous amount of knowledge and experience to contribute," said Webber, 51, a former member of the North Bend City Council. "This is a wonderful opportunity for me to take everything I dedicated my life to for so many years and use it again to give back to the community."

Webber has two stepdaughters, one teaching at Fall City Elementary and another on her way to becoming a high- school counselor. Webber's husband, Jack Webber is in his 32nd year of teaching at Two Rivers School.

Crone, 7500 329th Ave. S.E., Fall City, could not be reached for comment.

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