Marcie Estrellado, a 10-year Cheney School Board member and incumbent for District Position 1 may be running unopposed, but her determination and admiration for her school board duties are at an all time high.
“I really love being a part of the school system,” Estrellado said. “Being on the school board not only enables me to see a bigger picture of the entire school district, but it also enables me to see each individual child’s story and how important it is and what our staff is doing to make sure that those child’s needs are met.”
Estrellado has a few things she would like to see accomplished throughout her next term on the school board including successfully passing a bond for improvements on the high school and also working with the state to move toward fairly compensating the school district staff.
While she works towards a resolution for these issues, one thing that Estrellado sees as a challenge moving forward is a perceived lack of trust from the public in the school board’s decision-making process.
“I think it’s a real challenge,” Estrellado said. “I see what happens in our meetings and in our planning and when I read and hear feedback, I worry that people don’t trust that we are in the decision making process every step of the way and have all of the players and all of the information possible to make the best decision possible.”
One issue that Estrellado has been a prominent player in for the past 10 years is the talks of building a new school in the Airway Heights area, something she doesn’t view as financially feasible.
“It’s always been a consideration, it’s always been on the platform, it’s just that there’s more to it than ‘OK I think I’ll pick here’ and buy land and build and so forth,” Estrellado said. “I had this conversation with Mike Dunn at that time when he was our superintendent and I felt like that was a leaf we turned over. It wasn’t something we didn’t consider, it just wasn’t a direction that was financially feasible.”
And while the budget of the school district was supposed to get a boost from the 2012 McCleary decision in which the Supreme Court ruled that the State of Washington was failing to live up to their constitutional duty to fund K-12 students and ordered the Legislature to make measurable progress to fully fund K-12 education by 2018, Estrellado feels as if the state is still falling “drastically” short.
All in all Estrellado feels that her passion for her school board duties and doing what is right for the children will propel her into a successful four years.
“I really have a passion for what we do on the school board,” Estrellado said. “Impacting children is such a huge thing to me. When we are having our meetings and when we are on the school board, together we have to remind each other that it is not always about dollars and its not always about the adults and accommodating sizes, all of those things are important, but how does it impact the kids? And that’s what we fight for is what is best for kids.”