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North Kitsap School Board: Incumbent Ames out, Worthington and Prichard move on to November
POULSBO — There is guaranteed to be a new face on the North Kitsap School Board in January: North end voters opted for the two challengers for the District 3 director position in the primary election Aug. 6.
Challengers Doug Prichard and Beth Worthington advanced to the Nov. 5 general election. Worthington received 2,664 votes (46.5 percent); Prichard received 1,880 votes (32.8 percent). Ken Ames, the incumbent, received 20 percent of the vote and will not advance to the general election. There were 38 votes (0.7 percent) cast for write-in candidates.
Ames is a former member of the South Kitsap and Washington State school boards who was appointed to the North Kitsap board last year after Kathleen Dassel resigned. In the ensuing months, he and the board grappled with such issues as budgetary belt-tightening and the closure of Breidablik School.
Ames responded to the Herald by email. “I filled in for the rest of the vacated term to help the district and my community. I ran for this position at the request of supporters. It seems that the community majority in the primary want someone new on the board. Two people are very interested to serve, and it’s good that there is that much interest. Too many times people just don’t pay attention to the schools.”
Prichard is vice president of information systems at Bentall Kennedy, a real estate investment advisory and services organization, and has lived in North Kitsap for 14 years. He has two sons in the district. His wife, Colleen, is on the board of trustees of the North Kitsap Schools Foundation.
Prichard said Worthington set a “very high bar” with the amount of votes she received in the primary. However, Prichard will continue to campaign on the same issues he campaigned in the primary: Understanding and remedying why students are leaving the district, and working “really hard” to gain the support of the community.
“At the end of the day, you are who you are,” Prichard said. “I still believe in the core messages and why I’m running.”
Worthington is a senior systems engineer for FGS-LLC, a Navy contractor. She has lived in Suquamish for 19 years and has one child in the school district; another child graduated from the district and is attending college.
Her work in education has included examiner, judge and board member for the Washington State Quality Award, and serving on the school district’s budget committee for 2013-14.
Worthington was excited, but had reservations, about the primary election, she told the Herald last week. “I’m looking forward to the next step,” Worthington said. “I’m looking forward to touching base with more of the community.”
Worthington is looking forward to the next step in the election — touching base with more of the community. She wants to build the district’s transparency and community engagement, believes in management by facts and reliable predictions, and wants to determine the causes of the district’s enrollment decline.
Board directors serve four-year terms and are not paid. Directors are elected through districtwide elections but must live in the districts they represent.
The board’s responsibilities include: establish general policy, adopt and revise the annual operating budget, select and evaluate the superintendent, employ school personnel with recommendation by the superintendent, exercise the power to administer schools conferred by the Legislature, and keep the public informed on the needs and progress of the education system.
Though he will not serve on the board next year, Ames is “open to serve on a committee if that opportunity presented itself,” he wrote to the Herald. However, he will “probably not” run for a seat on the school board again.
Other contested races on the Nov. 5 ballot:
— Poulsbo City Council, Position 7: Jim Henry, Melody Sky Eisler.
— North Kitsap School Board, District 1: Steve Hancock, Cindy Webster-Martinson.
— Port of Indianola, District 2: Eric Cookson, Matthew Smith (write-in).
— Port of Indianola, District 3: Patrick Hatchel, John Lane.
— Port of Kingston, District 1: Nels Sultan, Bruce MacIntyre.