Evergreen school district sees one contested board race

first_img Daniel PolettiAge: 40.Occupation: Payroll accountant.Campaign funds raised: None.Endorsements: None.Website: None.Julie BocanegraAge: 41.Occupation: Bank manager.Campaign funds raised: $701.Endorsements: None.FacebookTerm: Four years.Number of board members: Five.What school board members do: Board members are responsible for establishing the district’s goals and policies and are the governing body on adopting school budgets and all fiscal matters. The board’s wishes are carried out by the superintendent, who represents the board, and the district staff, according to the district’s website.n Compensation: The district’s board members do have the ability to claim so much per meeting up to a maximum, said Mike Merlino, the district’s chief operating officer. Board policy allows for $50 per day up to a maximum of $4,800 per year. Board business includes attending a board meeting, representing the board on committees, attending training or staff development, attending school board activities when approved by the board in advance, and making school visits of at least 60 minutes of duration. Board members do not have access to health benefits, Merlino said.Evergreen Public Schools, the largest school district in Clark County and the fifth largest in the state, experienced peaks and valleys in 2013.In September, the district opened state-of-the-art Henrietta Lacks Health and Bioscience High School, the first of its kind in the state and one of only a handful in the nation. In February, Crestline Elementary, one of the district’s poorer schools, was destroyed by fire.Evergreen is a district of contrasts. Districtwide, 47 percent of its students qualify for free or reduced-price meal programs, but that number is an average. At Illahee Elementary on the more affluent eastern border of the district, 25 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced-priced meals. In contrast, at Crestline Elementary, in a poorer section of Cascade Park, 72 percent of the students qualify for free or reduced-price meals. The district’s four-year graduation rate of 85 percent is 12 points higher than at Vancouver Public Schools and eight points higher than the state average.With 26,400 students and more than 1,500 classroom teachers, Evergreen Public Schools plays a major role in Clark County. Its school board members make decisions that affect many in the county. Julie Bocanegralast_img read more