With the primary election in full swing, the Bothell Reporter conducted a Q&A with the candidates for Northshore School Board.
In order to better inform citizens about their choices, the Bothell Reporter used same questions for each candidate.
Berta Phillips is running for District Director position 3 in the 2015 Northshore School District elections.
Since Position 3 has three candidates, there will be a primary election for the position held on Aug. 4.
Reporter: What is your background experience?
Phillips: I have been a member of the Northshore community for 50 years. I worked for Northshore School District as a paraeducator. I am a small business owner and I ran a private daycare for 20 years.
Reporter: What skills or experiences do you believe will help you in the NSD position?
Phillips: I have worked in the classroom as a former paraeducator and a parent volunteer. I have served as a PTA leader within Northshore School District and was the State PTA liaison to the Washington State School Safety Advisory Committee in Olympia. My broad range of experience within the educational arena has given me a deep understanding of the needs of our students and our school district, which will allow me to make decisions as a School Board Director that will be in the best interest of our students and community.
Reporter: What motivated you to run for NSD?
Phillips: I have long been an advocate for children in our district and across our state. It is my dedication to the children of Northshore that led me to run for School Board Director for NSD.
Reporter: What made you decide to run / re-run this year versus other years?
Phillips: Having advocated for the children, staff and families of the Northshore for many years, I feel that the time is right for me to serve our community in this new and exciting manner. As a School Board Director, I will be responsive to the needs of our students and community as I work with the Board to move our school district forward.
Reporter: What issues are you concerned with the most?
Phillips: Northshore is currently facing a variety of serious issues, from overcrowding in the north end of the district to demands of state and federal assessment requirements. We face funding challenges and staffing issues. Recently a crisis regarding racism, bullying and threats have rocked our district. I believe my dedication, compassion and willingness to be open-minded and work with all stakeholders will allow me to tackle each issue in a fair, sensible and considerate manner.
Reporter: What issues do you believe are of importance to NSD parents and students?
Phillips: I believe Northshore parents and students want their schools to be safe and supportive learning environments where ALL students are provided with the support and tools they need to succeed in school and to prepare them for college and beyond. I believe parents, students and staff members want and deserve to be treated with dignity and respect. They want a School Board that is responsive to their needs and concerns.
Reporter: Why did you pick this position over other positions, open or otherwise?
Phillips: As a life-long advocate for children, I feel I can best continue serve the students of Northshore and their families as an independent voice on the Northshore School Board, working to keep Board goals, objectives and decisions focused on the needs of our students.
Reporter: Do you believe the parents of NSD will support you and why?
Phillips: Yes! I have had a tremendous outpouring of support and encouragement from parents, staff and community members. My broad range of experience within the educational arena has given me a deep understanding of the needs of our students and our school district, which will allow me to make decisions as a School Board Director that will be in the best interest of our students and community.
Reporter: What do you believe is the biggest challenge facing the NSD?
Phillips: I believe there are three great challenges facing our district. The first two are overcrowding and inadequate funding to effectively address the burdens it places on our schools and staff. The third is a very real concern over racism, bullying and the perception that the School District and School Board have not been responsive and sensitive enough to the safety concerns of the students and their families.
Reporter: What are you looking forward to most about the upcoming election?
Phillips: I have enjoyed the opportunity to engage with our community; getting to know hear their concerns, their hopes and dreams for their children and their vision for what they would like to see the District become. It has been an uplifting and edifying experience. I greatly look forward to the opportunity to continue grow as a candidate and a member of the Northshore Community.