The only contested race for the Clover Park School Board pits incumbent J. Paul Wagemann against challenger Juanita Daniels.
Both are running to fill a two-year unexpired term for the board seat in District 5. Wagemann was appointed to the post in April, following the resignation of board member Ellie Falk.
Joseph Vlaming and Marty Schafer are running unopposed for their positions in the Lakewood-based school district – Vlaming for District 3 and Schafer, an incumbent, for District 4.
The race between Wagemann and Daniels appears to be a low-profile one. Neither candidate has raised substantial funds. The state Public Disclosure Commission Web site shows Wagemann reported raising less than $10, while Daniels reported no contributions. (Under PDC rules, candidates who pledge to spend $5,000 or less, and who do not intend to collect more than $500 from any single contributor, do not need to report individual contributions.)
Daniels is a social worker for the state Department of Social and Health Services, a member of the Order of Eastern Star and Veterans of Foreign Wars Women’s Auxiliary, and a group leader at Champions Centre church.
Repeated attempts by The News Tribune to schedule an interview with her were unsuccessful.
Daniels did submit information to The News Tribune Voter’s Guide. In it, she states that the top issues facing the school district include strengthening school safety, raising student achievement, improving community communication and involvement, and overseeing student conduct. She wrote that she believes community partnerships are vital to improving student achievement.
J. PAUL WAGEMANN
Wagemann retired from the Marine Corps after a 23-year career, and now works as a real estate developer.
He has run two unsuccessful campaigns for Lakewood City Council.
He said that when he was first appointed to the School Board, he wasn’t sure if he would run to keep the seat.
“But after sitting on the board, I was encouraged by what I saw,” he said.
He said he believes Clover Park employees are working hard to create change.
But there are still problems that need work, Wagemann said. Test scores are “abysmal” and need improvement, he said.
“Are kids in India, China or Japan smarter than kids in the United States?” he asked. “I don’t think so. But they’re outperforming us.”
He likes programs such as the one that recently won Hudtloff Middle School a state award for improved test scores. The school’s Pride program helps give kids who are in danger of failing the support they need to make up incomplete work during lunch times or during teacher meetings.
But he doesn’t think schools alone can make a difference. He also said community members must step forward to help mentor students who are facing academic or family difficulties.
“I filter everything through a biblical world view – that’s how I look at the world,” he said. “It’s about holding people accountable, being responsible for loving your neighbors as yourself.
“There’s a lot we can do that doesn’t take money. It doesn’t take money for me to mentor a child or to encourage a teacher.”
But Wagemann also said he’s aware that money does matter to the schools.
“We can thank the federal government for some money they threw at the problem,” he said.
But as those federal stimulus dollars are spent, the school district will need to figure out how to do the job for less, he said.
“We are going to have to be more frugal,” he said.
Debbie Cafazzo: 253-597-8635
Clover Park School Board: district 5
J. Paul Wagemann
Occupation: Real estate developer and retired U.S. Marine Corps officer
Family: Married, two sons
Education: Bachelor’s degree, University of Washington
Web site: Not provided
Age: Not provided
Occupation: Social worker
Family: Not provided
Education: Bachelor’s degree from Arizona State University and master’s degree from City University
Web site: www.twitter.com/juanitadaniels