State school superintendent non-partisan race boasts six candidates

SNOQUALMIE VALLEY - One of the biggest contested races likely to affect the Valley is the election for the position of the Superintendent of Public Instruction. Unlike partisan races this Primary Election which limit voters selections to the party for which they choose, this non-partisan contest will find six candidates looking for approval from all affiliations.

Here's a quick look at the candidates:

Teresa (Terry) Bergeson, incumbent

For more than 41 years, Terry Bergeson has worked to ensure students a quality public school education. An advocate of teachers, educators and others within the public school system, Bergeson has continued to focus on what is best for students, and has worked tirelessly to build partnerships between legislators, educators and parents and community leaders.

Achievement results have significantly improved among all ages and ethic groups, Bergeson said. Student's SAT scores have gone from the middle of the pack among states to the top tier in the nation. Bergeson said that Washington schools lead the way with innovation, winning more than $100 million in grants for reading, math and science programs.

Washington eighth-grade African-American students made the biggest gains in mathematics achievement in the nation. Statewide learning standards and graduation requirements will make diplomas more meaningful, she said.

* For information, visit

Judith Billings

Billings was elected as Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction in 1988 and served two four-year terms before choosing not to run for a third term. She has been an educator for 42 years, teaching at junior high, high school and college and university levels. In 1987-88, she worked as a policy advisor to the U.S. House of Representatives education committee.

Billings said after looking in on education from the outside, she's concerned that changes need to be made. Because standardized testing has taken such a prominent role in education, that broad-based education for children has gone by the wayside.

Teachers don't get enough support in the drive to improve student learning, she said. Voters passed two initiatives to increase school funding, and the state has not full funded either initiative, she said.

* For information, visit

KumRoon Maksirisombat

Maksirisombat has worked in public schools for 26 years as a teacher, assistant principal and summer school principal. He speaks nine languages and has received several scholarships and awards.

Maksirisombat said the current curriculum of education needs to be improved to reflect and celebrate the growing diversity of schools. Maksirisombat said schools need to provide better curriculum in the areas of technology, languages, reading, writing and global education.

Maksirisombat said he considers the WASL, school voucher programs, school finances, mental health and the quality of teachers priorities in his campaign. Teachers need to feel valued in their contribution to the education for all students, he said.

* For information, Maksirisombat can be reached via e-mail at

Juanita Doyon

For more than 20 years Doyon has had the great opportunity to work with and teach children of all ages. Her work in public school classrooms has included tutoring, directing classroom projects, program and curriculum planning and assisting teachers.

Doyon is an award-winning education author and nationally recognized advocate for children parents and teachers. Doyon was the organizer of Mothers Against WASL. Doyon said using her diplomacy and leadership skills, she'll bring together all voices in education to do what is best for children.

Doyon said she will begin her service by calling for a full audit of the state superintendent's office. Under her leadership, she said, the office will work to improve the graduation rate, increase vocational education, decrease administrative waste and the paper burden on teachers, improve funding to classrooms and set aside the WASL.

* For information visit *

David Blomstrom

Blomstrom said state schools are worse then they were in the 1960s.

Blomstrom has a career background in education, Web site design and as a children's advocate. He says that he is disgusted that the "corporate media that ruined America's most important election ever by promoting John Kerry over Howard Dean is promoting the three clueless teachers union cheerleaders arrogantly running for this office."

For information, contact * ning for this office."

For information, contact Blomstrom at

John Blair

Blair said that ever parent should have the right, the opportunity and the funds to individualize the public education for each of their own children. Blair is a proponent in creating voluntary individual student trust accounts to be funded annually using each student's existing $5,500 state education voucher, which currently goes directly to the local school district. Blair has outlined a full plan regarding this issue, which can be viewed on his Web site at

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