By Hannah Saunders
The November 2 general election is just around the corner and Northshore School District 4 director candidates prepare to meet each other on the ballot. Chris Roberdeau will be running for his first term while Sandy Hayes will be running for reelection.
Chris Roberdeau is originally from Northeast Ohio but moved to Washington nine years ago as part of his Boeing career, which he departed from in early 2020 to join Astronics in Kirkland. Roberdeau has two children, one who graduated from Woodinville High School in 2020, which is the reason he’s running for election.
“A general frustration with the lack of learning, lack of attention to kids, and when COVID hit it was the final straw,” Roberdeau said. “It really just showed how little the school board was interested in the kids and taking care of the kids.”
One thing Roberdeau wants to focus on in the school district is creating a zero-tolerance policy (followed by an immediate investigation) regarding racial and ethnic insults.
“My daughter watched her friends have these things yelled at them. If we’re going to stop racism, we stop it by immediately addressing the actions that are happening right now,” Roberdeau said.
Another area where Roberdeau seeks to bring about change is within the district’s budget, specifically when it comes to building renovations and doing rid with portables.
“The money has been going to these pet projects because they look great on your list of accomplishments. But modernizing all of your buildings to keep them up to standards doesn’t look as cool, doesn’t sound as good, but it’s required,” Roberdeau said when describing how the district has been building arts and athletics centers from the ground up, which benefits some, but not all students.
Why does Roberdeau think he’ll make a great Northshore School District 4 director?
“Because I’m here for the kid,” he said. “I’m doing this not for myself, not for special interest. I’m doing this for the kids. That’s why I decided to run, because the kids are being ignored.”
Sandy Hayes is a native Washingtonian who graduated from public school within the state, as did her three children. Hayes is a leadership consultant for the Washington State School Directors’ Association (WSSDA) where she works with school boards across the state.
“I ended up running [in 2009], ran unopposed and then I’ve been on the board ever since for the last 12 years, and just really enjoy the work,” Hayes said. “We have an amazing community, students, staff, parents; it’s been such an honor to work with the community.”
Hayes plans to increase inclusivity throughout the schools, particularly allowing for students in the Special Education programs to return to general classrooms.
“There’s so much good evidence about setting high expectations and what that does and so when you get segregated into a room and identified as Special Ed, we tend not to have such high expectations of what they have,” she said.
Hayes finds it concerning that students in Special Education programs ride transportation for longer times to attend schools that are not within their neighborhoods because it allows for a greater disconnect within the community.
If re-elected, Hayes hopes to maintain a fiscally responsible school budget regarding renovations.
“You can get a small amount [of funding] for construction and renovation but the building has to not have been touched in 25 years. So, if we renovate a building say, within that 15 to 20 years, we no longer qualify for the small amount of money from the state,” Hayes said. “Our buildings are built to last 40 to 50 years.”
The school board is actively in the process of putting together the 2022 bond with a high focus on renovation and increasing school sizes to reduce portables, which will go out to voters in February.
Why does Hayes think voters should reelect her?
“I am passionate about this work. I have loved doing the work, I care deeply about our students they are my first priority,” Hayes said. “I will keep working and innovating and just making sure that each and every one of our students has access to not only what they need, but those things that are going to propel them into their future.”