Tavish MacLean is running for re-election to the Snoqualmie Valley school board (position 1). His response to EEN’s candidate questionnaire is below.
For more information about Tavish MacLean
email: [email protected]
|What was the lightbulb moment that made you decide you wanted to run for school board (election or re-election)?|
|I had been thinking about what greater positive impact I could make in the community beyond my work coaching sports and leading Cub Scouts, and a friend pointed out the open position on the school board. This was the opportunity I’d been looking for – to be able to make a positive impact for ALL kids across the Snoqualmie Valley. I’m running for re-election because I have a lot more to give our school district, with the benefit of 4 years of knowledge and experience.|
|What work or other experiences can you point to that qualifies you for the position?|
|My work experience in Marketing and Finance, with a business degree (MBA) have given me the tools to manage people, priorities and budgets, as well as experience motivating teams and measuring progress. In my first term, I helped form and refresh our District Strategic Plan and pushed for stronger measurements on the District Scorecard. I also had the vision, leadership, and ability to collaborate with fellow board members to support building a new elementary school and a new high school to accommodate growth and provide excellent learning environments for our kids.|
As a father of 3 boys, I love seeing kids learn, practice, and accomplish things they never thought possible. My role as leader of a local Cub Scout Pack required strong engagement with both kids and parents with diverse backgrounds. I recruited strong parent leaders to ensure a vibrant, engaging Pack that continues to flourish today.
|What are your ties to the community and how do you give back to it?|
|I’m the current Vice-President of the School Board. I also volunteer with Boy Scouts and the Mt. Si Lacrosse Club. Over the past 11 years I’ve coached little league and soccer teams, served as Den Leader and Cubmaster in Cub Scouts, and as an Assistant Scout Master in Boy Scouts, coordinating many high-adventure trips. I’ve taught Junior Achievement at Snoqualmie Elementary and spoken about career paths in Marketing at Mt. Si High School.|
|What does your district do well to help improve student learning? What’s one thing your district can do better to improve outcomes?|
|Our district has made great strides over the past 4 years. We’ve improved our graduation rate from 77% to 92%, launched and expanded the AVID program to prepare more kids for college, implemented rigorous evaluation & development programs for teachers & principals (TPEP), improved attendance and reduced class sizes across the district.|
There are still many things we can do to improve student outcomes. One thing I’m excited by is the ‘alternating block’ high school schedule being adopted in 2018/19 that will provide more flexibility for electives and post-high school planning while distributing homework over alternating days. In addition to the new schedule, we’re evaluating later school start times this year.
|Parent engagement is vital to successful schools. What can your school district do to improve meaningful family engagement, especially for families that find it difficult to engage or don’t see much value in it?|
|Our district is fortunate to have great parental involvement in our schools. Our PTSA support is strong and we’ve seen growth in programs like Watch D.O.G.S (Dads of Great Students) in our elementary schools. It’s an easy way for dads to engage by volunteering to help just one or two days over the course of the school year. Our activity booster clubs like Band and club teams like Lacrosse have also received strong family engagement.|
We can improve by encouraging parent engagement in middle and high school – finding ways to utilize parents’ talents and professional experience in our classrooms so our kids see the link between the subject matter and the real-world application of it. I’m encouraged by the steps we’re taking to invite parent participation in career fairs as speakers, involvement with Senior culminating projects and as 9th grade interdisciplinary project experts.