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What’s on the Ballot: Superintendent of Public Instruction

We are officially SEVEN DAYS AWAY from Primary Election Day!  As a mail-in ballot state (no stamp needed!), we receive result updates over a week to two week period of time.  The sooner we all turn in our ballots, the sooner they’ll all be counted. So if you haven’t filled out your ballot, do it today!

Don’t panic if you miss the deadline to register to vote online. You can still register in person up until 8:00 pm on election day If you have not yet received your ballot, contact your county (King or Pierce) elections department ASAP. Remember, voters do not have to declare a party affiliation to vote in the primary.

Superintendent of Public Instruction

The Superintendent of Public Instruction is a nonpartisan elected official in the state government The State Superintendent oversees the state’s public education agency, leads the implementation of educational policies, and collaborates with educational officials to improve performance in schools. Washington has 295 school districts, nine educational service districts, and more than one million students.

Read more at the WA Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction to learn about the OSPI Duties. 

Superintendent of Public Instruction: 4-year term, Statewide

Superintendent of Public Instruction Candidates

Candidates submit their statements. Neither the Office of the Secretary of State or Auburn Examiner make corrections or verify statements for truth or fact. A candidate’s preference does not imply that the candidate is nominated or endorsed by the party, or that the party approves of or associates with that candidate.

Ron Higgins

Elected Experience
Conservative Candidate, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, 2012 and 2016.
Other Professional Experience
Certificated Math Teacher, Washington and California; 10 years teaching in 7 Washington districts and inner-city Los Angeles (public and charter schools; urban, rural, vocational, and alternative schools; all grades K-12; all subjects, including bi-lingual [Spanish and Russian] and special education). Retired engineer. Marine Corps Vietnam veteran helicopter pilot; retired Marine Corps Reserve Lt. Colonel.

Education
MS, Chemical Engineering, University of Washington; MS, University of West Florida; BS, Cal Poly; licensed professional engineer.

Community Service
Union Gospel Mission; Boy Scout Leader; Red Cross blood platelet donor; youth soccer referee; school bus driver.

Statement
I’m Ron Higgins, the conservative candidate for Washington State Superintendent of Public Instruction. I’m a teacher, an engineer, and a retired Marine. I’m pro-life, pro-family, pro-Second Amendment, pro-property rights, and pro-free enterprise.

Having taught in Washington state schools for 10 years, I know our schools are failing our children. I’ve met high school students who didn’t know how to add fractions or what the words “pledge” and “allegiance” mean, seen leftist propaganda in our schools (e.g., favorable portrayal of Communist mass-murderer Che Guevara), and dealt with bureaucrats who didn’t want me to hand students copies of the US Constitution.

Our schools should be teaching the communication, computation, and civics skills children need to become productive citizens. As Superintendent, I will emphasize instruction in basic academic subjects, healthy lifestyles, and respect for the United States, our Constitution, and our God-given civil and religious liberty. I strongly support parental rights to homeschool. I vigorously oppose “comprehensive sex education” and any curriculum that promotes or glamorizes unhealthy behavior or the sexualization of children. We need common sense, not common core; education, not indoctrination. Vote Ron Higgins to put the public back in charge of public education.

Contact
(509) 873-2978
[email protected]
PO BOX 4702
WEST RICHLAND, WA 99353-4702
Candidate Website
Campaign Contributions


Maia Espinoza

Elected Experience
Not a politician, bringing a much-needed new perspective to our school system!

Other Professional Experience
Business owner; School teacher; OSPI Student Data Task Force, Opportunity Gap Oversight Committee; Washington State Commission on Hispanic Affairs; German Marshall Scholar, first Washingtonian selected for global education forum.

Education
MS, Curriculum and Instruction, Western Governors University; BBA, Pacific Lutheran University; AA, Running Start, Pierce College; Clover Park HS, attended a dozen public schools nationwide.

Community Service
Center for Latino Leadership Director; Youth Soccer Coach; School Auction Chair, Coffee Oasis youth shelter Core Team Member; Tacoma Arts Live Board Member; Catholic Daughters Association; Civil Air Patrol; PLU Business Network Board.

Statement
Our schools are facing a defining moment. Teachers aren’t happy, families are stressed, students are struggling, and the opportunity gap is widening. The delivery of public education has changed dramatically, and we’ve been forced to adapt. Now is our chance to reimagine a better education system because the status quo is no longer an option.

To improve our school system, we need to: use technology to innovate classrooms and unlock possibilities for more personalized learning; provide school schedules that fit the needs of working families and teachers; and teach students key life skills like managing finances, living independently, and resolving conflicts.

With kids of my own in public schools, I support parental choice and local control. Meanwhile, nearly half of Washington’s students are failing to meet state standards in core subjects. I am endorsed by parents, teachers, and school board members across Washington because I respect community input.

I am running for Superintendent because I believe our kids deserve better and can achieve more. If elected, we will update our school system to meet the needs of families, teachers, and the future economy.

Contact
2532241410
[email protected]
PO BOX 493
TACOMA, WA 98401
Candidate Website
Campaign Contributions


Stan Lippmann

Elected Experience
No Information Submitted

Other Professional Experience
Physicist at: General Atomics, San Diego. Molecular Epidemiology, Lake Forest Park. Science Teacher at: Modern English School, Cairo, Egypt. Nanshan Chinese International College, Shenzhen, PRC. Shandong Experimental High School, Jinan. Beijing Foreign Studies University, Beijing. K-12 English as Second Language. Massachusetts Department of Elementary and Secondary Education Prelim. License (Physics 8-12).

Education
B.S., Physics, New York University (1981). M.A., Physics, Johns Hopkins University (1984). Ph.D., Physics, Johns Hopkins University (1989) J.D., University of Washington (1998). Attended or resided: Columbia University, University College London, Sorbonne, Princeton University, University of Texas, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and UCSD.

Community Service
UBER and Lyft driver during pandemic.

Statement
This election is important to the future of our Republic. The purpose of public instruction is to help children and young adults to become enlightened citizens. Given the disordered state we’re living in, it seems obvious that educational policy must be to blame. Our mistake is surrendering our sovereignty of thought to Eastern and European elitist academics who are so out of touch these days that day laborers have more common sense. How else to explain the failure of trillions of dollars a year, decade after decade, on “education” that we spend leaving us in this mess? Sometimes I think it would be better to just start all over from 550 BC with a Pythagorean Academy, since it’s been all downhill in the common sense department since then. It’s so bad that now the experts routinely fail us, whether they be scientists, educators, lawyers, doctors, journalists, and politicians. Where will our children be in 2030 and 2045? If they are to be happy and free, they must learn to love mathematics, physics,language and history. Every human being is born with the divine spark of intelligence. My job will be to provide constructive guidance to our teachers.

Contact
(206) 401-2044
[email protected]
PO BOX 352
RENTON, WA 98057
Candidate Website
Campaign Contributions


David Spring

Elected Experience
5th LD Representative to the King County Legislative Action Committee.

Other Professional Experience
Instructor, Bellevue College, Researcher, University of Washington, Author, Common Sense versus Corona Virus Hysteria, a book explaining the need to understand and use scientific research to make better policy decisions.

Education
Washington State University: Bachelor of Science Education, University of Washington: Master’s Degree in Education.

Community Service
As Director of SAVENW.org, a nonprofit devoted to economic prosperity, I developed a curriculum for teaching students how to start their own business and build their own business website. I am also a leader of Opt Out Washington, an organization opposed to the draconian SBAC test.

Statement
As a parent and teacher, I understand how crucial it is that every child has an experienced teacher and a safe school environment. But I also think it was wrong for Olympia bureacrats to shut down every school in our state regardless of the circumstances in each local school district.

It makes no sense to shutdown schools for months at a time when there is not even a single case of any child in any school anywhere in our state transmitting the corona virus to any adult. The closure decision should have been left to local school boards – as it has always been in the past.

The scientific research has been clear: thanks to their remarkable immune systems, children were never a risk to adults! Yet our schools were closed for months simply because hapless bureaucrats in Olympia believed inaccurate studies claiming millions of people were going to die unless all of our schools were closed. In fact, through May, about 600 fewer people died in Washington this year than last year!

I am running for Superintendent to restore common sense to Olympia and local control to our public schools. Please visit our website for more information!

Contact

(425) 876-9149
[email protected]
6183 EVERGREEN WAY
FERNDALE, WA 98248
Candidate Website
Campaign Contributions


Dennis Wick

Elected Experience
Elected and re-elected to the Snohomish School District Board of Directors (1999-2007)

Other Professional Experience
Thirty plus years at Boeing working as a Planning and Management Specialist; Adjunct Faculty at Gonzaga University teaching online classes in the school of engineering; Proudly served in the US Navy as an aviation electronics technician.

Education
MS Project Management, City University of Seattle; Bachelors, Business Administration, University of Washington; AA Skagit Valley CC; Technical training, US Navy.

Community Service
Volunteer classroom helper, Educational Foundation member, active church member.

Statement
Why pick Wick for Superintendent?

We can all agree: Education is a core value so important that it’s written into our state’s constitution. With the exception of the quarantine, educating our students today looks much like it did when Washington’s constitution was ratified in 1889. The same can’t be said for today’s world, changes come faster with each new day. I believe that we can do a better job preparing our students to meet tomorrow’s opportunities.

Decisions I made as school board director always contained the answer to the question: “How does this benefit our students?” I will do the same as your state superintendent. I will ensure we focus our attention on that most important educational relationship: the one between the teacher and the student. I know how school districts operate and will ensure that they effectively and efficiently deliver a quality education to our students. As an adjunct instructor, I have had real world experience teaching students online from around the world.

My vision is to eliminate “good schools” from real estate ads because every school in Washington will be a wonderful place to learn. Please join me as we shape the future of education in Washington state.

Contact
[email protected]
1429 AVENUE D #174
SNOHOMISH, WA 98290
Candidate Website
Campaign Contributions


Chris Reykdal

Elected Experience
Superintendent of Public Instruction, Local School Board Director, Legislator.

Other Professional Experience
Classroom Teacher; Budget and Finance Executive, Fiscal Analyst for the Washington State Senate.

Education
Baccalaureate Degree in Social Studies and a Teaching Certificate, Washington State University. Master’s Degree in Public Administration with an emphasis on Budget, Finance, and Performance Management, University of North Carolina – Chapel Hill.

Community Service
Parent volunteer in schools, youth soccer coach, local city planning commissioner, food bank volunteer, education foundation board member, education scholarship founder, and non-profit fundraiser.

Statement
Thank you Washington voters, I am grateful to serve as your State Superintendent.  We have achieved so much together: Record graduation rates with more rigorous course taking; Dual language learning is expanding; Supports for students with disabilities are growing rapidly; College courses are increasing in our high schools, saving families tens of millions of dollars in tuition; Civics is a graduation requirement again; Career and technical education is now a graduation pathway option; School construction is at an all-time high, creating thousands of jobs; Teachers are finally earning competitive market salaries; and healthcare has been expanded to thousands of additional school employees.

We have major work ahead of us: 1) Emerge from COVID-19 better connected; 2) Enhance mental health and other student supports; 3) Improve kindergarten readiness; 4) Build more career and technical education programs; and 5) We must ensure that rural communities have equitable access to educational resources.

It will take experienced leadership to maintain our investments and further improve student achievement.  I am the first Superintendent in more than 30 years to have kids in public school during my service. I am endorsed by Washington’s Teachers! I would be honored to earn your vote.

Contact
[email protected]
855 TROSPER RD, SUITE 108-117
TUMWATER, WA 98512
Candidate Website
Campaign Contributions


The Auburn Examiner encourages voters to do additional, independent, candidate research before casting their vote. Information on candidates can be obtained through interviews and profiles (local news outlets are usually a great source), questionnaires, candidate forums and debates, and any available voting records. A variety of websites also provide further details and information about candidates. We urge all voters to verify the authenticity of any website, and information used to inform their voting decisions. Always remember: trust, but verify.

Important 2020 Primary Dates

July 27: LAST DAY for online and mail voter registration and updates! These must be received 8 days before Election Day. You are still able to register to vote and update your voter registration in person during business hours and any time before 8:00 p.m. on Election Day.
July 31: Unofficial, it is recommended that if mailing in your ballot, you return it by the Friday before Election Day to ensure it is postmarked by Election Day.
August 4: Deadline for in-person voter registration and updates (up to 8:00 pm).
August 4: Primary – Returned ballots must be postmarked or deposit your ballot in an official drop box by 8 pm on Election Day.

Go to Vote 2020 Home

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